8 Tips To Stay Fit In A Busy Lifestyle

These days, we are all so busy in our lives, we rarely get time to think about ourselves. Our health and fitness take a backseat.
We remember to do everything else for everyone else. But where does the “me” time go?
Forget about eating or sleeping right daily, we don’t even take out the necessary time to exercise!
So in this busy schedule, how can you make sure that your body gets the required movement and your activity levels stay high?

Follow these simple tips!

Wake up early
When you wake up earlier in the day, you not only get the time to exercise in the morning, you start the day on a high!

Work smart
You don’t have to workout out every day to see the results! In fact, the Holistique Program runs on the principle of working out smart. With just two 90 minute workouts a week, you can not only see the change, but feel it too!

Be prepared
When you know you have to workout early in the morning, make sure your clothes, your water bottle and other essentials are all laid out and ready for you the night before.

Sleep well
Make sure you get adequate amount of sleep (at least 7 to 8 hours). Plan your bed time accordingly.

Workout with a friend
Its not easy to keep your motivation levels high all the time. You don’t have to do it alone! Workout with someone, someone who will push you when needed and keep you not only motivated, but excited to work out!

Eat right
Working out alone does not give you all the rewards. For a fit and healthy lifestyle, your food habits also play a huge role. Try to eat the right foods. A healthy, balanced diet is very important.

Plan your vacations well
When travelling, try and book a hotel with a gym. Maintain your schedule even when on holiday. Not only will it feel good, but it will also help you avoid the “small break” from working out, which generally turns into a “it’s-been-quite-a-while-since-I-worked-out” break!
If you can’t find a hotel with a gym, compensate for it by keeping your activity levels high. Go for treks and walks, go sightseeing, just keep moving!

Plan out your weeks
Plan your days every week. Mark down the days your want to work out in a journal, keep a track of your meals and general activities that you do during the week. It always helps to have a little self-motivation!
Check out the Holistique Journal for keeping track of everything essential for a fit and healthy YOU! Click >here< to know more .

What are you waiting for?

With these tips, you will never miss your exercise quota of the day!
Try it out!

Do you have any other tips that you follow to stay fit and active? Tell us in the comments below!

Snack Guilt-Free! Recipe #1

Most of us LOVE late-afternoon snacks. We hog on anything and everything we can find in the kitchen at that time.
But these late afternoon cravings have a big role to play in messing up our meal plans! Sure, we all have slip ups and cheat days, but when it becomes a habit, it prevents us from reaching our fitness goals.

So what can we do to change that? Not eat anything when we are feeling hungry or have a craving for something yummy?
NO!
How about we eat the yummy food, but the right kind of yummy food?

Read below for a delicious, yet super healthy recipe for those mid afternoon cravings!

Sweet potato fries
Serves 1

Ingredients-
1 medium-size sweet potato
1/4 tsp Chilli flakes
1/4 tsp Oregano
1 tbsp Olive Oil
Salt to taste.

Method-
Preheat the air fryer to 400°F (200°C).
First, peel the potatoes. After peeling, cut the potatoes into french fries wedges.
Pat dry with paper towel.
Mix the olive oil and spices to it. Add salt to taste.
Cook in the air fryer for 22 to 25 minutes.
Enjoy with different kinds of dips!

If you don’t have an air fryer handy, just bake then in the oven at 200°C for yummy, crispy fries!

Sweet potatoes aren’t just delicious, but also have a number of health benefits.
They are soothing to the stomach and help prevent constipation.
The health benefits also include their ability to help lose weight, boost immunity, aid in digestion, treat asthma and bronchitis, and control diabetes.

So what kinds of snacks do you eat mid-afternoon? Do share your recipes in the comments below!
And do try the recipe! Don’t forget to tell us how you liked it!

4 Secrets to A Healthy Lifestyle

One time or another, all of us have done some form of exercise in our lives, like walking, running, playing sports, dancing etc.

The reasons for doing so, are many. You may want a good body , or want to lose weight or fat, or improve your strength and flexibility, or be happy and stress free!

Now the question is this. What have you done to achieve your goals? Have you taken some steps to do so, and have you been successful?
If the answer is no, then why not?
And if the answer is yes, then I have another question for you.
Have you been able to maintain the goals that you have worked so hard to achieve? It’s not easy, is it?

That’s where the 4 keys to a healthy lifestyle come in. Yes, just 4!
It’s simple, doable, and the best part is, IT WORKS!

The first one to start with is- CONSISTENCY
When you do something repeatedly, what happens? A habit develops.
So if you decide to do something that will help you get healthier and fitter, and consciously make an effort to repeat it CONSISTENTLY, your body adapts to it and it becomes a habit. When continued, this habit becomes a part of your daily life!

Reading the above, did you feel motivated and excited to start exercising, to start making a difference in your life? Yes?
So, do you think the motivation to take that step, to take action, is enough to delevop these habits, and to sustain them?
NO!

For that you need the next 2 keys- DISCIPLINE and DEDICATION.
When you can do what’s needed to be done, even when you don’t want to, then you will achieve your goals faster!

So, we have consistency, discipline and dedication. So what is the last key?
Think about this. You do all of the above, but you always have to keep yourself in check, never letting yourself slip up even once. Does that sound like fun? It doesn’t to me!
Perfection is impossible. And BORING!

So what will help us here?

MODERATION!
The perfect healthy lifestyle doesn’t exist. It’s impossible that you will never slip up. So, it’s very important that you don’t be too tough on yourself. Even if you do fall off the wagon, so to speak, remember that the secret to success is to get up, and get back on track. Let your discipline kick in and prevent a lapse from becoming a relapse.

So now we know the secret formula to sustain a healthy lifestyle…how about we go ahead and begin?

The Benefits Of Flow

Have you ever been so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter, and you don’t know how the time has flown? You become so focused, so consumed by it, that in that moment, nothing else exists.

This state of mind is called the “Flow”.
The Flow is a state of the mind in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in the feeling of energized focus, and enjoys the process of the activity.

The state of flow, or being “in the zone”, is a state of peak performance! It’s when your mind and body are working together as one. That’s why we are introducing mental flow into our workouts, which we will achieve by Setting Intentions.

An intention is a statemen as t about what you want to achieve, whether it’s through a class, a seminar, or in life.
It describes an aspiration you may have – to think, to feel, to accomplish. This is for YOU.

Why are setting intentions useful?
When you are setting an intention deliberately, you are more likely to make choices that support it- your thoughts and actions are directed towards that intention.
You may not remember your intention consciously today, but your subconscious mind remembers it.

An intention can sound like, “I want to move faster and increase my stamina”, “I want to heal my body”, or “I want to improve my focus”. Trying to choose something that you can act upon.

Setting an intention is one way we can live a more mindful and conscious life. By setting an intention, we are starting to take a practice “out of the class” and make our practice one of mindfulness and not simply an exercise class.

An intention can be anything that brings you peace, happiness and joy.

The Flow has a lot of physical and mental benefits, like-
– More life engagement.
– More satisfaction in life.
– Better quality of life.
– More positive emotions.
– More self-esteem.
– More productivity at work.

Those who managed to spend a higher proportion of the time in the flow motivated, resilient, and happier.

So, fill up! Take care of yourself. Emerge refreshed and energetic. No more running on fumes.

Sleep better!

Well, we all love to sleep, don’t we? In the last blog post, we read about the importance of sleep.
But just knowing the WHY doesn’t teach us the HOW.
There are a number of things you can do to ensure your “good night sleep” is actually good!

Read below for a few tips and tricks that can help you get those zzz’s…

* Maintain a daily schedule:
One of the most important things you can do to sleep well is make a schedule and stick to it. Try to go to sleep and wake up roughly at the same time every day. This will help your brain and body get used to being on a healthy sleep-wake schedule.

* Avoid caffeine!
Ah, the smell of coffee early in the morning is enough to kickstart your day!
But try and avoid caffeine after the clock strikes noon, even in things like health drinks and your favorite chocolates! They can affect your sleep later that night.

* Unplug and power down:
From smartphones to laptops to televisions, our lives are full of screens. Their soft-blue
light hurts your sleep. So turn them off, or cover the displays, an hour before you sleep!

* Don’t go to bed on a full stomach:
Heavy meals right before you sleep overload you digestive system. Have a light evening snack instead. Try to finish your food intake at least two hours before you sleep.

* Regular exercise:
Working out regularly helps you sleep well. Just don’t do it too close to your bedtime! Try and finish any vigorous exercise 3 to 4 hours before you sleep. On the other hand, gentle mind-body exercises, like yoga or tai chi, will help you sleep better.

* Keep bedroom dark and quiet:
Light signals the brain to get up and get moving! Low light or a dark rooms signals your brain to make melatonin, the hormone that regulates the sleep wake cycle.

* Keep a journal:
Spending just a few minutes to reflect on the positive highlights of your day can transform your attitude, and calm your brain down, resulting in a relaxed and peaceful mood.

* Limit beverage before sleep:
How much do you hate those pesky nighttime trips to the bathroom? Avoid them by avoiding consuming liquids in the last 2 hours before you sleep.

So follow these little tips, and soon you’ll be on your way to a well rested mind and body!

Tried some of these? Or have any other tricks that you use? Let us know in the comments below!

Hit the Snooze Button!

We all just LOVE hitting that snooze button in the morning, don’t we? If its after a good night's sleep, its just us being lazy and wanting to steal those extra 5 minutes. But if its because you haven't slept well at night, you may have to change your sleeping pattern to make sure your body is well rested !
A good night's sleep is just as important as exercise and nutrition for the body. It does a lot more than boosting your mood and getting rid of those under-eye circles!
Some benefits of sleeping well are -


Your brain recharges when you sleep.

Lack of sleep affects the frontal lobe of your brain and can cause you to have trouble recalling information, causing you to make decisions that you normally wouldn't! Also, not sleeping well raises the overall anxiety levels.

Sleep keeps your heart healthy!
Sleep plays an important role in your physical health. Getting a good night's sleep reduced the risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, obesity and stroke!

Your cells repair themselves.
As you drift off to sleep, your body starts its night-shift – repairing damaged cells. Sleep supports healthy growth and development. Deep sleep triggers the body to release the I hormone that promotes normal growth in children and teens. This hormone also boosts muscle mass and helps repair cells and tissues in children, teens, and adults.

Adequate sleep helps you avoid obesity and weight gain!
A healthy diet and exercise are very important for preventing and managing obesity. Lack of sleep contributes to the rising numbers in obese and diabetic people. When your body doesn't get enough sleep, you become lethargic and your physical activity levels go down. Sleep deprivation in excess can cause weight gain due to the way our body processes carbohydrates. This alters levels of hormones that affect our appetite and cause slow metabolism.

Sleep improves concentration and memory!
Sleep has been linked to psychological, emotional and mental recovery, as well as learning and memory. With memory at its peak, the mind restored and the hormones all balanced, the mind has a healthier imagination, making you more creative!

Sleep helps in muscle repair and recovery post workout.
One of the primary benefits of sleep in terms of muscle growth is the recovery time. When you exercise, tiny tears occur in your muscle fibres. Your body needs time to repair this damage and build muscle mass. Sleep gives your body an opportunity to concentrate on recovery and repair of muscle tissue.

So now that you know more about how sleep benefits you mind and body, you have all the more reason (as if we needed any more, right?) to hit the sack, and just doze off!

To know how to sleep better, come back for our next blog post!!

Healthy Feet Mean Healthy You

Going barefoot is a natural state of being for us, especially Indians. Even now, in some Indian villages, people spend almost 100% of their time barefoot. Many wander through fields and do hard, physical laborious work, and yet they rarely develop any feet problems. Instead, it has been proven that being barefoot actually strengthens your feet to support the rest of your body the way nature intended, which is one reason why barefoot training has taken a huge leap forward in recent years.

Wearing different types of footwear and always keeping our feet confined and protected actually has the opposite effect to strengthening. We are providing cushions and insulation to our feet, which then make our feet dormant and lazy, after which foot problems can arise (which we blame on footwear and the ground!). Think of it this way – why are humans the only species on earth who feel the need to wear shoes?

Going barefoot also improves our proprioception – which is the sensory input we receive from the soles of our feet, which plays a role in our stability, balance and coordination. It helps us to connect to the earth and to the environment, thereby allowing us to move in every way possible. The more stable the body, the more benefits we can reap from our workouts. Our feet create stability and help our body feel safe – and this stability allows us to progress further in all our workouts, without the danger of losing balance.

Feet affect everything – almost all of us know about the reflexology points in the soles of our feet, which connect to all parts of our body and nervous system. Your foot is connected to your core (pelvic floor and abdominal) – so all the more reason to train barefoot, to give you a strong core, flat abs, prevent back pain and improve running speed.

More benefits of working out barefoot include: stronger arches, improved muscle alignment, stronger ankles, increased flexibility, and healthier feet overall. It also strengthens our entire body by helping energy to flow smoothly through our body.

Barefoot running has gained huge popularity in the past decade, but several other regimes can be followed on a barefoot program, including yoga, martial arts, gymnastics etc. Barefoot and minimalist training is the most ideal way to workout, however your body needs to be properly prepared first. At Holistique, you get to train under Barefoot Master Instructor and Physiotherapist (Dr Anuja Luniya), and the program fuses a blend of workout styles conducted entirely barefoot, which gives additional benefits which you now know!

Exercise and the Indian Woman (part 2)

Let’s talk about exercise, fitness and health in the Indian setting. Enough has been written about this topic from a western perspective, and now that the fitness trend is picking up in India, we ought to embrace this movement!

Women’s fitness in particular has picked up significantly, with women-centric studios and programs cropping up. We all know exercise is essential, especially due to our sedentary lifestyles. For women this is all the more important – from young girls, to post menopausal women, and everyone in between. The benefits of exercise for women are countless throughout all stages of life. From building bone strength and muscle mass to preventing gynecological problems to restoring posture, balance and functional independence, the benefits are endless. And today’s Indian woman knows it!

And yet, the question remains: why do only 10-15% of Indian women exercise? What about the other 90-85%? The myriad of reasons for women not having time to exercise is astounding. Health cannot and should not be taken for granted! It’s always better to jump on the prevention bandwagon first, rather than learn the hard way.

Now, exercise does not mean a walk in the park for an hour. There are a variety of workout styles for a reason. Women need to incorporate strength training, especially Indian women (more on why in a later blog). Your exercise toolkit should have a variety of workout styles so that you achieve not just the weight loss benefit but other benefits of exercise. And sorry ladies, stretching is not working out! And doing cardio to lose those tyres isn’t going to work! Walking, jogging, running, cycling or an hours Aerobics/Zumba (no matter how much fun) are all good but alone, are not enough to keep you fit. Cardio is only one aspect of fitness. You need strength, balance, agility, power, flexibility, reduced risk of lifestyle diseases and hormonal balance too. You need exercises to keep you gynecologically healthy (the number of young girls with PCOD is on the rise and so is the number of women going in for IVF).

Exercise to show and maintain results requires sincerity, dedication and perseverance. Before joining a class, make sure you get to know what the exercise program is all about. Does it interest you? Do you think you can persevere with it? Always choose a program that you will be able to enjoy and sustain, because that’ll keep you from quitting.

Healthy living is not by chance. It’s a choice. A lot of little choices you make everyday to live healthy. Now ask yourself, do you really want to take your health for granted?

Exercise and the Indian Woman (part 1)

The Indian Woman. Where do we start to describe her. Obviously there is no ‘one size fits all’, no generalizations that can be made about Indian women, because we come in all shapes and sizes. But one thing that Indian women do have in common (mostly) is their selflessness in prioritizing other things before their own health. Whether it’s a new bride who wants to put in effort into new relationships, or a new mom who puts her kids needs first, or an ambitious career woman who makes sure she never lets the ball drop at work. The connecting thread is that Indian women generally have this mentality of considering their own health only after all the rest of the work gets done.

Indian mothers make sure their child joins enough extracurricular classes – dance, martial arts, sports, theatre, arts – to keep them active. To help their children develop into healthy individuals. They make sure their husbands have their post workout meal ready after gym. She takes all measures to see to it that her family eats healthy. Then why does she skimp on her health? Her nutrition? Why does she eat whatever is there? How come no effort is taken to see to it that the lady of the house eats well and stays active?

We believe this is the very mentality that needs to change. A woman needs to give health and fitness equal priority as other matters in her life. After all, it’s only in good health that we can enjoy and achieve all of life’s demands. We no longer live like our previous generations, who believed in sacrificing every personal desire for the greater good of the family. Young moms no longer feel the need to eat the leftover scraps off their kids’ plates, and many mothers now utilize the time when their kids are engaged in an activity class to do some exercise of their own.

These are the mindset changes we foster in the women I coach. It’s a simple yet powerful change – when you exercise regularly and see the “holistique” benefits you gain not just physically but emotionally too, you realize that it’s a lifestyle choice to embrace for the rest of your life.

Don’t you think it’s high time we Indian ladies show ourselves the same importance, love and dedication we shower on our loved ones every single day?  Your health is not an expense but an investment, for your family and yourself. Choose to invest in yourself.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this post which goes into detail about which exercises are necessary and suitable for Indian women!

Move, Nourish, Rejuvenate – what does it all mean?

Join Holistique this Summer!
Join Holistique this Summer!

It’s no secret that our lives have become more and more sedentary, thanks to the influx of technology in our lives, and the fact that we outsource a lot of physical tasks to domestic help. Previous generations did a lot more physical work, even visits to the local bank and grocery stores, as these facilities were not available to them online as they are to us now. Hence the necessity to make movement a conscious part of our daily lives. We can even use technology (e.g fitbit reminders) to help us with this! Holistique is a contemporary movement based program, which has a multi-disciplinary approach. The workout fuses the age old principles of yoga with the latest evidence based body-weight workout styles. The sessions are small group personal coaching sessions with every client receiving personal attention from the coach.

Of equal importance to moving the body is to fuel it with the right nutrients. That is why Nourish is the second step of the Holistique program, because health is nothing without food. The Indian way of living, when it comes to food, is vastly dependent on the different sub-cultures that we all belong to. A Bengali family’s eating habits are extremely different to a Gujarati’s, for example. But at the very essence, the fundamentals remain the same. Indians know a million and one nourishing recipes which are not only good for us, but taste delicious too, as opposed to the bland and boiled options we often see coming from western influenced diets. The Holistique program helps you choose the right foods for your diet, without sacrificing the taste. Holistique emphasizes the marriage of movement and food with balanced eating recommendations and personalized meal planning by an experienced nutritionist and foodie!

To rejuvenate is to look or feel better, younger, or more vital. At Holistique, we have kept this in mind whilst designing our program. It’s a program that not only exercises your body beautifully, but also makes you aware of how you feel, thereby exercising your mind positively as well. It makes you conscious of how your thoughts and actions affect your lifestyle. And it stays with you long after the session – because we all know that simply doing one session of exercise is not going to get real results. It’s the remaining hours in the day that we need to practice mindfulness in our thoughts, and exercise discipline in our actions. And with Holistique, we will ensure you do this with joy, because joining this program will make you feel whole – in body, mind and spirit.

Physiotherapist, EBFA MI, Fitness & Health Coach