Tag Archives: exercise

Eat Slowly… What’s The Rush?

How many of us finish our meals in a matter of minutes? As if the food will disappear if we don’t gobble it up? Or eat standing up because we don’t have to “time” to sit down, relax and enjoy our food? If you are having your lunch or dinner while binge-watching your favourite TV series, is the plate empty before you even realize it?

In today’s world, we are always running. Always rushing to get things done, to be as fast as we can. But this way of life shouldn’t be our way of eating! We live in a rushed, distracted society. We rarely take the time to really savour our food, sometimes not even to chew it properly!

Mindful eating is something that not only affects the way we digest our food, but also how our body reacts to the food! In simple terms, when you eat slowly, you digest better, your body uses the food more efficiently.

There are loads of reasons why eating slowly is a lot more beneficial than mindless, distracted and hurried eating.

  • Not overeating.
  • One of the most important benefits of slow, mindful eating is that it gives your body time to recognize that you are full. When eating, it takes about 20 minutes for the brain to signal that the stomach is full. But we, being the freakishly fast-paced people that we are, manage to shovel so much food in those 20 minutes, that we end up overeating and feeling “too full”.

  • Sensing satisfaction.
  • Eating slowly also helps us feel more satisfied – which is very different that just being “full”. When you slow down, you savour a meal, you pay attention to the flavours and the textures, and appreciate each mouthful.

  • Improves digestion
  • Eating slowly also helps improve digestion.
    Digestion starts from the mouth, so large bites that are hurriedly eaten and not chewed properly are more difficult for the stomach to break down, thus leading to indigestion and other GI problems. And who wants that?

  • Helps in losing weight!
  • Fast eaters generally gain more weight over time than slow eaters. Just by eating slower, you eat less food (you don’t over-eat), and end up consuming lesser calories than you would if you rush through your meals! So if weight loss is on your agenda, eating slow should be a part of you lifestyle.

  • Less stress.
  • Eating slowly while paying attention to your food is a great form of mindfulness exercise. Be in the moment, concentrate on what you are doing, rather than just doing it to get it over with. This kind of mindfulness will help you calm your mind and lead to lesser stress. Give it a try!

  • Lesser craving post meals.

  • Research has shown that people who eat slow, and are thus more satisfied with their meal, have lesser mid-meal cravings. It keeps you from binge eating on unhealthy snacks during the day!

    So how can you eat slow and eat right?

    Try some of these tips!!

    – Try to eat with minimal distractions. Avoid eating while watching TV, driving, texting, etc.
    – Choose high fibre foods that require you to chew just a little more, like fresh fruits and vegetables.
    – Put down your utensils after a few bites. Take a moment, breathe and enjoy your food.
    – Use smaller utensils and silverware (plates/bowls/spoons).
    – Set aside time to eat, and try to take at least 20-30 minutes from the start of your meal till the end. Don’t just eat when “convenient”.
    – Eat with other people around. With family or friends, the conversation flows freely, so the meals usually last longer than they would if you eat alone.

    You are fuelling your body whenever you eat something. That’s important. Give it the time and attention it deserves!

    What do you do to make sure that you are eating the right way? Any more tips that we can add in our blog?
    Do let us know in the comments below!!

    Kick Off Those Shoes! Go Barefoot!

    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!

  • Strengthens your feet muscles
  • Going barefoot uses those muscles in your feet that usually stay cushioned and covered by your footwear.

  • Improves your balance
  • Balance, just like strength, speed and agility, is trainable. And moving around barefoot is a great way to do that!

  • Corrects your posture
  • 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!

  • Improves blood circulation
  • 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!

  • Improves immune system
  • 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!

  • Exercising barefoot is very beneficial!

  • 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!

    Holistique Truffles! The Deliciously Healthy Go-To Snack!

    We all yearn for that “something sweet” after our meals, don’t we?
    The mid afternoon snacks, the cravings in-between meals, midnight munch sessions… We are always on the lookout for that one amazing thing that not only satiates our hunger pangs, but also satisfies our need for something delicious and delectable!

    Well, we are here to tell you that… Your search is over!!! The Holistique Truffles are BACK!

    It is common knowledge that exercise and healthy eating are the two sides of the “fitness” coin. But most people think that “healthy food” is synonymous with “boring food“.

    That’s not true at all!

    The philosophy around which our truffles are woven is simple, short and sweet: healthy food shouldn’t just be high on nutrition, it can and should be delicious too!

    There are so many “healthy chocolates” in the market to choose from. So confusing, isn’t it? So, why should you choose our artisanal truffles?
    Well, first of all, the filling of the truffles is 100% natural, nourishing, and super flavourful!
    As if that wasn’t enough, this filling is encased in a thin layer of sinful dark chocolate… and who hasn’t heard of the goodness of yummy dark chocolate?

    The ingredients used to make these delicious morsels are of the highest quality. They are vegan, gluten-free, highly nutritious, and absolutely guilt-free!

    Empowered with complex carbohydrates, satisfying proteins and healthy fats, these artisanal truffles provide you with long lasting energy. And what’s even better is that they actually promote fat loss by helping you get rid of unhealthy snacking habits and unnecessary munching!

    There are 2 scrumptious, delicious flavours for you to choose from: Jamocha, and Sinful Duo.
    Check them out in our Facebook Shop!

    Every single truffle is handcrafted, and does not have any additives, enhancers or preservatives added. The sweetness emerges from the fabulous ingredients themselves!

    Whereas normal store bought sweets derail you from your fitness goals, the Holistique Truffles do the exact opposite, and fast track your journey toward a healthy and happy you!

    So what are you waiting for??

    Go ahead and devour as many of these that you possibly can!!

    Stay Hydrated!

    The human body, as we all have been taught in school, is made up of 70%-75% of water. This little fact has been drilled into our heads! But what good has it really done?

    Most of us still do not realize the importance of water in our daily lives.

    Water is not just handy to quench our thirst. It is essential for the proper working of our bodily functions. It helps the body with digestion, absorption of food, regulating our body temperature, blood circulation, carrying nutrients and oxygen to the cells in our body, and for removal of toxins. Water also helps with the movement of joints, and helps protect organs and tissues of the body.

    Well, this is what we know. But what about fitness? Do you know how water helps us in achieving our fitness goals?

    Whether you are a professional athlete, or someone who exercises for recreational purposes, it is extremely important to stay hydrated.

    So, let’s take a look at how staying hydrated as you work out makes a difference.

    Helps You Lose Weight!
    Water helps in regulating your digestive system, so that the foods you eat are processed efficiently by your body.

    Improves Muscle Tone
    Our muscles are 75% water. Drinking more water helps you maintain your muscle tissue and muscle tone.

    Prevents Muscle Cramps
    Water and the electrolytes found in water allow your muscles to contract, while preventing shrinkage and helps prevent the soreness related to exercise.

    Prevents Illnesses
    Catching a cold or falling sick is something that completely derails our perfectly planned workout program. Staying hydrated helps us avoid that! Not only will drinking water help you if you do get sick, research has shown that drinking at least eight glasses of water a day will reduce your risk of falling ill in the first place.

    Helps Kidney Function
    Our kidneys filter the waste present in blood, which ensures that your muscles stay oxygenated efficiently. Water is essential for the kidneys to perform this function.

    So now that you know how important it is to stay hydrated, keep a check on the amount of water you are consuming! Track your water intake using a fitness journal, like our Holistique Journal, or use a mobile app!

    Let your thirst be your guide. Make sure your body doesn’t get dehydrated!

    Carry a bottle of water with you at all times, and keep sipping throughout the day. And don’t forget to refill that bottle!

    How much water do you drink in a day? Do you think it is sufficient?

    Let us know in the comments below!

    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-

    Convenience
    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!

    Continuity
    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
    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!!

    Rant Alert! When you got it, flaunt it

    Ladies, let me tell you something. The fact that you work out is a privilege, it’s a good thing, it’s something you ought to shout from the rooftops! Don’t be shy about it, be proud of it! You do it because you are able, and because you have the right idea of taking care of your body and living an active life!

    This rant is about why women want to hide it from the world that they workout. Many women refuse to share their videos or photos on social media, and yet they want to be clicked, and worse still – viewing similar stories by strangers online inspires them. Is it that you feel embarrassed? Is it that you believe in the evil eye, and some undeniable force might stop your progress just by viewing a picture of you on social media?

    It’s understandable to fear the unknown, the random strangers who don’t know you and yet might enjoy checking out such posts and pictures. That’s something we can’t really avoid in today’s digital age. What you ought to remember is that you could be inspiring another ordinary person with similar challenges as you to take out time for themselves and achieve their goals. Haters are always going to hate, and living in fear of that should not stop you from being accountable for your goals – so ladies, put it out there! Get online!

    Think of it this way: you are helping to make the world a happier, healthier and fitter place. People will always talk, so let them. If they talk negative, it could be that they are jealous. If they talk positively, then be glad that you impacted someone in that way. You never know who you might inspire by sharing your journey, so just know that whatever you are doing is not only good for you and your direct family, but for your peer influences as well.
    All this aside, be proud of the choices you have made to keep your body moving. Realize that your hard work and progress can motivate and inspire others. Show people your before and after shots, and even your work-in-progress shots. Because the truth is, it’s always going to be a journey. Fitness has no final destination. Once you get a taste of it, you will always and only want to better yourself.

    Workout Smarter not Harder

    How often should you train? Is 5 days better or 2 days?

    These are some of the questions I am often asked at the studio. The truth is, training frequency is a highly debated topic in the fitness industry. Currently the mindset of most women is to work out five days per week because they believe that the more you exercise, the more results will show. This is a MYTH! In fact, many women spend an hour or less a day working out and the rest of the day in a somewhat sedentary fashion – which actually negates the workout benefits!

    My philosophy on training for strength and fat loss is simple. I want to do as little as possible to continue making progress. If anything, I’d rather under train than over train. This goes hand-in-hand with another key priority: I always focus on quality of training and movement. What many fail to realize is that for fat loss, we often need a total lifestyle overhaul.

    Benefits of training 2 days a week include:

    – Prevents gross overtraining

    – See progress faster than traditional workout frequencies

    – Joints love 2 days per week as it reduces chances of doing something that hurts or injures your joints

    – Exercises in the program are more focussed, making you good at what you do and getting you the results you need and want

    – Time is freed up to focus on your nourishment (planning, shopping, cooking) and rejuvenation part of your lifestyle. Without nutrition and stress management, you won’t get the maximum benefit from your workouts

    Your body builds or gives you the best results when it has time to recover from every workout along with good nutrition and rejuvenation. In any myofascial fitness program, I recommend 48 hours for recovery. But that doesn’t mean your body isn’t working – during recovery your body is actually repairing and becoming stronger on a cellular level, and burning fat to do this!

    Now, I don’t advocate that you spend the rest of the days lazing around – in fact you’ll feel the opposite. Your workouts should give you energy on your other days to keep your body moving as it was meant to. You can go for walks, treks, cycle, dance, play with your kids, and feel great that you’re living an active lifestyle. You will see for yourself once you move more frequently – not only are you more in tune with your body, but you tend to “get it” much faster.

    At the end of the day, the real question is not how often you should train but how much can you recover from training?

    By switching from 5 days to 2 days a week, I have made the best progress in my career for my clients and myself.  Like everything in training, you need to figure out what works best for you and your body. Once you figure it out, you’ll be amazed at the progress you make.

    Tell me in the comments below what kind of workout works for you!

    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!

    How do Electronics Affect Your Posture?

    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

    • Holding your mobile/tablet flat is bad for your neck, but holding it completely perpendicular is bad for your wrists. As such, you’ll want to compromise by holding it at a 30 degree angle when you’re typing or using the touch screen. If you’re just reading, you can position it more perpendicular, at whatever angle makes it easy to see.
    • Tap lightly on the keyboard. Many people have a tendency to tap very hard on touch screen keyboards because they lack tactile feedback, like real physical keyboards do, and this is bad for your fingers, wrists, and forearms. If you’re typing something longer than just a few sentences at a time, it’s probably worth investing in a Bluetooth keyboard.
    • As you type or use the touch screen, be sure to keep your wrists straight, while keeping your arms and fingers loose and relaxed.
    • Avoid eye strain by making the font larger when possible. If you’re using a program that doesn’t allow you to set the font size, you can buy glasses specifically made for reading tablet displays. If you’re doing a lot of reading, try eye-friendly E-Ink readers like the Kindle or Nook as opposed to the iPad or Kindle Fire.

    Its best to…

    • If texting starts to hurt. Stop. Use the other hand or call instead
    • Vary the hand you use
    • Vary the fingers you use
    • Don’t text for more than a few minutes without a break
    • The best option when it comes to touchscreen phones is to use a Stylus while using the phone, as it uses larger muscle groups compared to using only a finger. Hold the stylus like you would hold a pen.

    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.

    Busting Women’s Strength Training Myths

    Being a physiotherapist and fitness coach, I’ve come across so many women for whom working out with help of free weights or machines is a strict No-No. There are so many myths in their minds about working out with weights. Most of them feel that weight training is only for men who aim to have a 20 inch biceps or a 6 -pack abs.

    If you want to get stronger, leaner and healthy you have to supplement your aerobic workout with the key component of fitness and that’s “weight training”.
     
    “USE IT OR LOSE IT”
    As we age our muscle mass gradually decreases and hence our metabolism (i.e the energy our body spends in normal functioning of our important physiological systems). So when muscle is depleted, your fat percentage increases.
     
    MYTHS RELATED TO WEIGHT TRAINING
     
    Myth I : Weight training will make you bulky or masculine
    My dear ladies the hormone to be blamed for bulking up is testesterone, which is in abundance in males but is in very minimal quantity in females. Our oestrogen abundance prevents us from developing a masculine body, unless you take steroids externally.
     
    Myth II : Weight training will increase chest size
    Breast size can never be increased or decreased. But yes it will surely make your chest look firm.
     
    Myth III : Weight training will make your body stiff
    There are many exercises such as dead lifts, chin ups, etc which will make you use your complete muscle length and hence maintain flexibility.
     
    Myth IV : If you stop exercising your muscles will turn into fat
    This myth is just like someone saying you can turn gold into brass!! Remember, both are different types of tissues so it cannot interchange.
     
    Myth V : Women should do only cardio and if they want to do weight training they should only do so with lighter weights
    Cardio is a very important component but if you are doing cardio for long hours it will not only burn your fat but your muscles too. And, if you are weight training with light weights then its not of much use as there won’t be any muscle breakdown. You need to overload your muscles to get the desired result of toning up.
     
    BENEFITS OF WEIGHT TRAINING
    • Increases bone density thus preventing osteoporosis.
    • Increases your resting metabolism and burning more calories even when you are at rest (increase in Basal Metabolic Rate).
    • Decreases the risk of injuries by making your bone, muscles and ligaments stronger.
    • Helps to improve balance and coordination.
    • Improves your stamina.
    • And above all for most of the women it gives you a fabulous toned body .
    Always make sure you adopt the right posture/form and correct breathing (exhale on exertion) before focusing on repetitions and intensity of weights.