Pelvic Health Awareness

Pelvic floor problems are way more common than you can imagine. One of the reasons you may not know about this is..? You guessed it right! Because we don’t talk about them!
Numerous people suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction.

The need for awareness about this topic is paramount. That’s why I got in touch with Ms. Suzanne Ko, a certified postnatal fitness specialist.

In our blog today, we have come up with the FAQ’s people have about Pelvic health, and the answers to them!

1. What is pelvic health? What all does it include?
Pelvic health starts with the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor is the base of our core. Along with its team members (diaphragm, transverse abdominis, multifidus), the pelvic floor helps to stabilize the body. A well-functioning pelvic floor assists us in performing daily activities and exercise.

2. Are some women more prone to pelvic health issues than others?
This can be due to many factors, including genetics, pregnancy, lifestyle habits, heavy physical work, chronic constipation, obesity, long-term coughing or asthma, or hysterectomy. Pelvic health issues do not just affect women, but also men. They can arise as early as adolescence.

3. What are the most common pelvic health problems?

The most common pelvic health problems are:

• Diastasis recti – A weakening of the connective tissue between the “six-pack” muscle.
• Pelvic organ prolapse – A condition where the organs of the pelvis descend toward or through the opening of the vagina due to a loss of support from the pelvic floor muscles, fascia, and ligaments.
• Incontinence (urinary, fecal and/or gas)
• Pelvic pain
• Painful sex
• Back, hip, sacrum, or coccyx pain
These pelvic floor conditions do not just apply to women who have had a baby. They can also present in high-level athletes and some pelvic floor conditions present in men as well.

4. How will I know if I have a pelvic health issue?
Some will have a pelvic floor issue, but may not present with symptoms. Symptoms to look out for are signs of leaking, heaviness or pressure in pelvis, back pain or a feeling of incomplete bowel or bladder emptying.

5. Is regular screening necessary? How often?
Getting assessed by a physical therapist is a great way in actively being preventative when it comes to your overall health. It is highly recommended to get assessed by a women’s health pelvic floor physical therapist after your postpartum visit. Once cleared by your physical therapist, I recommend doing a yearly screen.

6. When should I visit the doctor if I feel I have a pelvic health issue?
I recommend seeking out a pelvic floor physical therapist if you feel that you have a pelvic health issue. A pelvic floor physical therapist addresses the the body as a whole, versus a doctor that will only treat the symptoms.

7. What can I do to improve my pelvic health?
Pelvic health starts with breathing and alignment. Pay attention to how you move throughout the day, which is more important than the hour you spend at the gym. This includes how you sit, stand, walk, pick up objects, perform household chores, pick up/hold/carry your children and how you use the bathroom. Try to keep your ribcage stacked over your hips and bum untucked, while performing any of these activities. Train for function at the gym, so you can perform your activities of daily living – hinging, squatting, pulling, pushing, rotation, loaded carry. Good nutrition is also an important factor, especially for new moms healing postpartum. Sufficient fiber in the diet will help prevent constipation.

8. In a country like India, what hygiene methods should I follow to have good pelvic health?
Elevating your feet (using a step stool) when you eliminate prevent excessive straining on the bladder and bowel. Hovering over the toilet can also put strain on the pelvic floor.

9. How do I maintain pelvic health as I age? (At different ages)
Implementing the changes I have suggested will help you to be proactive in your pelvic health, especially as you age. Changes in hormones in women as we age will increase pelvic floor conditions.

Pelvic health is an extremely part of a fit and healthy life. It’s not a topic to shy away from, or to be ignored. It is something that needs to be discussed and talked about!

If you have any other queries, please ask us in the comments below!
Also, I would love to know what YOU do to take care of your pelvic floor!

Online Fitness Coaching – The Advantages

In today’s age, technology has grown in leaps and bounds, bringing the entire world to our fingertips. Every aspect of our lives, our jobs, the way we travel, the way we work, our leisure activities, everything has been affected and made easier by technology.
So why not our workouts too?

I am talking about the ongoing debate about online fitness coaching.
To find out what people really feel about the same, we conducted a survey. These were the results.

So what we realised was that people are open to the idea of online coaching, but don’t necessarily know or understand the benefits of the same.

So here we are!!!
We understand that you are skeptical about the idea. Well, I am here to tell you that the benefits of online coaching vastly outweigh the apparent disadvantages!

First of all, what does an online fitness coach do? Simply, an online coach can help you reach your health and fitness goals with all the convenience of training in your own home, or other personal space. An online personal coach can provide you all of the services a face-to-face professional would.

Listed below are the advantages of online coaching-

No more will you have to miss your workouts because of the weather or the inaccessibility to the gym! With online training, all you need is some space in the comfort of your own home, and you are ready to go!

How many times have you missed your workout because you are travelling, or out of town? Or your kids have their exams going on, or are not feeling well and you need to be at home with them?
With online coaching, you can not only exercise at home, but take your workout with you wherever you go!

Real-time corrections
With the technology advances that we see today, real-time training and monitoring an online class has become a reality. Your coach could be sitting in another city/country, but with the help of live video training, they are always available to answer your questions and correct you if you are doing something wrong!

All the time in the world
Time isn’t a problem anymore! Missed your morning workout due to other commitments? Just see the recorded workout session and get your exercise quota of the day!

Easy Accessibility
Now you don’t need to search and search for a good workout program, only to find that the gym/fitness club is too far away, or not accessible! All you have to do is switch on your mobile, laptop or tab, and you are sorted!

Non-distractive environment
You can workout at home within your comfort zone, and no distractions around! No shouting, no crowds, no noise, no sharing your personal space with others. You focus on mastering your technique without getting worried of who’s doing what. Just focus on YOU.

Self-motivation plays an important role in getting fit, and when you are responsible for your own workouts, what could motivate you more? With regularly tracking and monitoring your progress, you never miss a workout!

Skeptics think that the one downfall to online coaching is the safety factor. But as we have explained above, when you have live training sessions where your coach can see exactly what you are doing, and your coach is just a click away on emails and calls, what do you have to worry about?

So what do you think of Online Fitness Coaching??
Is it a Yay or a Nay?
Have any more questions or concerns about the same?

Tell us in the comments!!

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?
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

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

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?

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?

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?

Physiotherapist, EBFA MI, Fitness & Health Coach