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4 Practical hacks to overcome fitness roadblocks

Do you get all excited about starting a new fitness routine? New routine, new plans, new you! You feel motivated and ready to go!
How long does it last? How long before you start finding excuses to take a break, or reschedule (and there are so many, aren’t there?)?

When we start any new fitness and health routine, we all hit roadblocks. We lose motivation, feel overwhelmed, or just keep procrastinating.
It’s natural for you to be excited about something fresh and new, and then lose your resolve over time. What’s important is getting it back!

There are always going to be roadblocks on your way, but you have to know how to knock them down and keep going!
Here are a few hacks you can try.

#1 Attach something you already love to your new routine!

This works great if are a master at procrastinating, or just aren’t feeling up for it today.
Imagine this. It’s been a week since you started exercising regularly.
Today, you want to workout, but are just not getting the motivation to do so. Rather than feel low and bleh, why not play your favorite songs while you exercise? Not only will it get you up and running, and lift your mood, it will also make the new routine itself more rewarding for you. And isn’t that the whole point of it?

#2 Limit your choices

When we start a new routine, there is SO much to do! New exercises, new food habits, new everything! It gets really overwhelming sometimes, and that feeling makes us want to fall facedown on our bed and quit!
Too many options create anxiety and leave us feeling less satisfied! So, what can we do about it?
REDUCE our choices!
Let’s look at an example. If you are building a habit of eating breakfast daily, reduce your options to 1-2 for the entire week. Sounds boring?
It really isn’t, if being overwhelmed is something you are struggling with. Instead, it makes your life much easier, and helps you stay on track with your fitness routine.


#3 Choose an activity you enjoy.

Exercise is one of the most difficult habits to develop. And it is even worse when you are not enjoying what you are doing!
But, exercise doesn’t only mean going to the gym and doing the same reps on the same machines over and over again!
Today, we have the opportunity to do SO much more than just gymming! So, choose what you enjoy doing. If you like dancing, join a dance class! Go trekking! Or maybe join power yoga!
Go swimming, go shopping, go hula hooping! Just keep moving.

#4 One at a time!

When we plan to start exercising, or start a new routine, we are trying to build new habits. Healthier, fitter habits.
Building a new habit is tough, we all know that. But building 20 new ones at the same time? OVERWHELMING, and enough to drive you crazy!
If you want to start exercising regularly, eat better, have more water every day, sleep better, what do you do? You start ALL of this together. That’s just setting yourself up for failure!
Solution? Start with just one!
Just begin with trying to exercise regularly maybe. Once you have got that down, move on to the next one!

When starting any new fitness routine, the goal is to make it fun and EASY for yourself, not mind-numbingly tough!
So, next time you are confronted with a roadblock, try one of these hacks!

Have any other hacks that you use to make life, and fitness, simpler?
Tell us in the comments below!

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!

    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?
    Yes.
    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!

    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 .

    Well, what are you waiting for?

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

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

    Snack Guilt-Free! Recipe #1

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

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

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

    Sweet potato fries
    Serves 1

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

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

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

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

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

    4 Secrets to A Healthy Lifestyle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    So what will help us here?

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

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

    The Benefits Of Flow

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

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

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

    An intention is a 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.

    And just…flow!