Tag Archives: health

Health is nothing without food

In today’s blog post we’ll help you look at food in a different way. Food, and eating it, is not just a mechanical process that we do day in and out (like breathing). Nourishing yourself in the right way with the right fuel for your body will help you not only nutritionally and physically, but also stabilize your moods and overall balance.

When it comes to eating right, there is no one-size-fits-all meal plan for everyone. As part of the Holistique program, we help you figure out what works for your lifestyle, and provide some invaluable advice along the way. For example, we encourage that you eat every 2-3 hours and that too eat what you enjoy. We don’t advocate going on fad diets for a temporary goal. These diets are not sustainable for the long term, and often make you feel bad when going off the plan, leading to guilt eating.

Instead, we suggest foods based on your existing diet pattern, as that is what your body has been used to for so many years. The most important thing is to plan your meals in advance, and once you are into a routine of doing this, you’ll see how easy it is to maintain a food plan that works for your body whilst also giving you results along with the workouts you are doing.

A couple of other tips and tricks on nourishment:

  • Remove all junk food from your pantry! If it’s not there, you won’t be tempted to eat it
  • Eat the right foods at the right time. We can help you figure out when your body will best digest that dessert you crave, as well as pre and post workout meals
  • Eat the rainbow! This means eating all types of fruits and vegetables, preferably seasonal and locally produced

*SPECIAL RECIPE – TURMERIC MILK*

The irony about food in this generation is that our grandmother’s recipes are often dismissed as old wives tales, and yet these very recipes are proving their ageless value over time. One such example is the simple yet effective “haldi doodh” – turmeric milk. We all know that turmeric is a store house of healthy properties, and is used for healing, and as an every day spice in all Indian homes. Typically, turmeric has been known to boost immunity, and a nightly dose of haldi doodh can keep all ailments away, according to grandma. Here’s a simple recipe for this power drink which you can have every night before bed, or as a snack in between meals:

Recipe Ingredients:
  • 1 inch fresh turmeric (grated) or 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder    
  • 200ml milk
  • Honey or sugar to taste    
  • Black pepper powder to taste (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon Desi Ghee

Method:

  1. Heat ghee in a pan until slightly warm. Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder (or grated turmeric) to it and mix well.
  2. Pour in 200ml milk, mix well, and bring to boil for a couple of minutes.
  3. Once it boils, turn off the heat and allow the turmeric milk mixture to rest (covered) for two more minutes. 
  4. Strain the milk and turmeric mixture into a glass, stir in sugar / honey and black pepper as desired
  5. Garnish with sliced almonds and pistachios, and serve the turmeric milk while still hot.

Enjoy!

If you have any more old family turmeric milk recipes, tell me in the comments below!

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!

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 Weight 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.