When was the last time you walked, or ran, without footwear?
Remember your childhood? Kicking off your shoes, running around barefoot, not a care in the world!
As we grew up, the heels, socks and shoes, pretty sandals and pedicures took priority over the feel of the ground under our feet. After all, who would want to walk on such uneven ground, right? What kind of benefits can that have?
Well, being barefoot, in fact, has a lot of benefits!
Going barefoot uses those muscles in your feet that usually stay cushioned and covered by your footwear.
Balance, just like strength, speed and agility, is trainable. And moving around barefoot is a great way to do that!
Heels, or even shoes with small lifts under the heel, mold our bodies. To stay straight up, we push our butts back, and our waists forward. Barefoot, our body stays straight, without putting strain on our spine, butt or waist!
We all know how the roads are in India, right? But that may actually be in our favour! Every step on an uneven surface stimulates the muscles in our feet and increases the blood circulation. Also, better circulation means less aches and pains, less varicose veins and warmer feet and legs in the winters!
The soles of the feet have lots of nerve endings and sensory receptors. These send positive vibes to our brain for making our immune system more powerful and prepared. Walking barefoot helps activate these receptors, thus strengthening our immune system!
By training barefoot, you improve your strength, mobility and the ability to sense the position, location and movement of the body and its parts, which is called the “proprioception” of your feet. It also improves overall dexterity and reactivity.
Going barefoot is also a great stressbuster! Just imagine walking on soft grass, or sinking your feet into the sand on a beach… Feels amazing, doesn’t it?
The Holistique Program promotes barefoot training for all the wonderful benefits mentioned above!
So why don’t you try it out, and give your shoes a break?
Start out slow, though.
Years and years of wearing “comfortable” footwear makes your feet accustomed to the feeling of always having a layer between your feet and the ground. So, start slow. Walk around your house barefoot, take a stroll in the park, or just stand on uneven ground and feel the surface with the soles of your feet.
If you aren’t comfortable going sans footwear immediately, try out minimal footwear as visible in the image above. Minimalistic footwear gives you the feel and benefits of barefoot walking without the fear of injury! Get your feet evaluated by a barefoot specialist before going in for minimal footwear.
See how it feels, and go from there! Going barefoot really makes you feel wonderfully connected to the earth!
Give it a shot, and tell us about your experience in the comments below!
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?
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 statement 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 are generally more motivated, resilient, and definitely happier!
So, fill up! Take care of yourself. Emerge refreshed and energetic. No more running on fumes.
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!
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!!
How important do you think being happy is to your overall health and fitness?
The answer is – VERY!
So, if happiness is important, how important a role do you think does gratitude play in that?
How many times in a day do we think about the things we don’t have, the situations that didn’t go our way, or not getting everything precisely as we wanted? We are so busy in these, we simply forget to be thankful for everything we DO have.
We often skip the need for gratitude, not realizing what a massive impact it can have in our lives. Just starting the day with gratitude can swing your day the right way!
We have so many things everyday to be thankful for- getting a good night’s sleep, waking up in a house full of loving family members, having good friends, having food to eat, even small little things like your maid showing up! But we tend to overlook it all.
Post workout rejuvenation plays a big part in our journey to fitness. In order to do that, our mindset and emotional health needs to be in a good state. Gratitude helps us appreciate our body, and understand its needs better. As we start respecting our body, we start fuelling it with better, healthier food, and start enjoying the gruelling workouts, rather than seeing them as punishments!
So as this year ends, let us do something a little different.
Let’s bring in the new year with a new attitude – of Gratitude! Let’s be thankful for the all the laughs we had over the year, all the good that happened, all the wonderful memories, and also, the lessons learnt from the things not so good, the pain and the obstacles that came our way.
Let us all welcome the new year with positivity and happiness!
Here are some ways in which you can achieve the attitude of gratitude:
•Look around! Try to notice new things you are grateful for every day. It will help improve your emotional health, and even your relationships.
•Club the gratitude habit with another existing habit – for example, practice gratitude during your daily shower, or your make up ritual.
•Help others realise the power of gratitude too! Start your family’s evening meal with a one-minute chat around the table of what each of you are grateful for.
•Maintain a journal. Sometimes, we need to remind ourselves of the good in life. Do you feel like you didn’t have anything special happening every day? You couldn’t be further away from the truth! Make it a habit to write down 3 things that you are grateful for every day. It may be as simple as knowing you have healthy kids, or having a good conversation with a friend!
In Holistique, we strongly believe in the power of gratitude. That is why the Holistique Journal has a Gratitude section, especially for this. It’s the one section where you have to think and write about what makes you feel content and happy, as compared to tracking your day. This section is about finding the amazing in the routine. To get the journal, click Here.
It might take a month or two of daily practice, but you’ll realize that it’s the little things in life that truly make you happy. Gratitude has the power to open up a level of inner consciousness, and lead to self-introspection – this in turn can help you power over your thoughts and live with positivity in your daily life.
Think of it this way- you have the power to turn any day into a good day, by just focusing on the good things that happen, rather than dwelling on the bad.
This simple exercise, though tedious in the beginning, will open up unlimited happiness for you!
Don’t believe it? Try it, the Holistique way!
Remember back at school when you were forced to write down whatever the teacher was writing on the blackboard? The very act of doing that was what made the learning stick in your mind. It has been proven that writing things down enforces learning and can actually be therapeutic.
Journalling in fact dates back centuries, when people would note down their thoughts on a nightly basis, treating their journal as a dear friend (therapist?), confiding in them what they would never dare reveal to a person, and helping themselves gain clarity by writing things down.
A journal will never judge you, but allows you to understand yourself better. By getting into the habit of regular journalling, you are able to track your patterns and improve on yourself and your habits.
The Holistique journal is like no other – it’s a food log, an exercise log, a place for weekly goals, a space for feelings and gratitude. It even has artistic meditation to help you de-stress, and motivational stickers to make it all fun. It focuses on all aspects of you – fitness, health, happiness and productivity.
As part of the Holistique program, we want you to enjoy the journey to your healthy lifestyle, and we believe this journal is a key factor in this process. There’s something about having to actually write down your day’s logs and efforts that makes you feel committed to the process and helps you stay motivated. Taking a few minutes out of your day to be mindful and aware of your health and fitness activities is sure to bring about a change in your lifestyle. And the best part is – no matter what workout or diet plan you are on, the Holistique Journal is there to help you on your journey to a successful transformation!
Every single page has been carefully thought out to keep you on track and motivated. Its unique un-dated weekly and daily page layout consists of blocks for goals, motivation, workout and activity levels, nutrition (planner and log), emotions, sleep and gratitude. Some of the benefits of using the Holistique Journal include: tracking your progress, serving as a reminder to work out (even when you see it lying around the house), keeping a note about your goals and keeping you motivated, and helping you schedule and stick to your appointments!
Let the Holistique Journal be your personal storybook, making your whole transformation memorable and enjoyable. Order yours today!
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.
The proliferation and use of PDAs & touchscreen smartphones, and the significant increase in time spent at computer keyboards or engaging in video gaming has created a whole new generation of people of all ages experiencing RSI(Repetitive Stress Injury). More and more, people are depending on these devices to stay in touch with friends and family. However, an increasing number are beginning to pay the price for such ready access to the world.
As mobile phone technology develops, mobiles are getting smaller, with buttons closer together. Small, fine movements tend to aggravate more than larger movements-this coupled with the smaller buttons can lead to injury as smaller buttons are harder to activate.
When you are text messaging, you tend to hold your shoulders and upper arms tense. This cuts down the circulation to the forearm, when in fact it needs a greater than normal blood flow to achieve the fine movements of the thumbs and fingers.
One of the commonest RSIs, popularly called “Blackberry Thumb” occurs because these devices rely almost solely on the use of your thumbs (not all of your fingers) for typing. Any device that relies on the thumbs for typing can cause this type of injury because the thumbs simply weren’t designed for such use. Additionally, there are also other stress injuries reported — wrist, forearm, shoulder, upper back and neck — as a result of constant texting.While it’s hard to use mobiles & tablets in the same way you’d use a computer, the risks of injury are the same – Repeated motion, Unnatural postures and Bright screens, can all cause injury if you aren’t careful.
The problem with smartphones and tablets is that you can literally use them in a million different positions—most of which probably aren’t very good for your body.
Tips to Follow
Its best to…
The biggest sufferers are college students and young adults. Plus, there’s not enough attention paid to ergonomics. RSI is preventable. It happens because it’s not taken seriously.
And an increase in miniaturization, and decreased usability–rates of aching thumbs among today’s people is likely…to swell.
If you’ve found any tricks that work especially well for you, share them in the comments below.