Everybody knows that bodies can either be extremely beautiful, or outright gross. Imagine the days where baths were only taken once a year, people dumped their waste into the streets, and people were forced to be dressed head to toe in layers upon layers of clothing in the hottest and most humid of climates.
If you was to pick one nutrition topic that hasn’t found an amicable conclusion it has got to be the one about eggs. Researchers world over have been and are still trying to determine whether scrambled eggs, omelets and fritatas are healthy food choices. Continue reading “Myths about eggs”
With energy crises debated in the news, it’s difficult to ignore the fact that sustainability is a big issue for Brits today. Many local councils are already implementing initiatives for reducing waste and recycling household rubbish in order to address these problems, there is always more to be done. If you are looking to reduce your carbon footprint but aren’t sure how, here’s some quick ideas to start with small changes in the home.
If you have a parent, grandparent, or other elderly relative that struggles with mobility then they could benefit from a modified or specialist mobility vehicle. Recipients of some Disability Living Allowance benefits are entitled to use a portion of their benefits to lease a new car, scooter or powered wheelchair – and whether a car is bought through the Motability scheme or independently, it may be possible for you to drive the vehicle in order to assist your relative.
Keeping up with an exercise regime takes a lot of dedication and discipline, and if you’re not careful you can easily fall behind in the gym. A ‘lack of time’ is the most common complaint from family men and people with busy jobs when it comes to working out, but this can’t be used as an excuse if you’re looking to improve your body. Barriers are present through all walks of life, and it’s how we overcome them that defines us as people – getting fit is no exception.
The office can be a sluggish environment however, if you’re looking to get rid of that Christmas excess weight. Every day, thousands of people sit at their desks, barely flinching while their fingers tap away on the keyboard. If you want to achieve the perfect body, you’re going to need to work out at the office as well as the gym. Consistent exercise requires a determined mindset, so get rid of those desk sweets and take note of our office exercises!
The Office Chair Squat
This is a simple but effective office exercise, and it can also strengthen some of the most essential core muscles in your body. Position yourself by standing as tall as you can, while also relaxing your shoulders. Next, lift your toes up, keep your back straight, and lower your bum until it’s only just hovering above your chair. Hold this pose for 10-15 seconds, straighten up and perform again.
The Desk Press
If you want to strengthen your upper body, then this is the exercise for you. Use your core muscles to keep your bodies in a straight line, and then hold the press-up position on your desk, making sure your elbows are at 90 degrees. Hold this position and perform 5 push-ups, followed by 10 knee-drives.
Business flights are notorious for leaving passengers with groggy heads and aching muscles, but there are also advantages to having all that space. Instead of getting your head down for a few hours, why not try some simple exercises to get your blood flowing! Firstly, stand in the aisle as tall as you can, with your head and shoulders pushed all the way back to create the perfect posture. Next, use your hips as a hinge and lean forwards keeping one leg straight, while the other is extended behind you. Hold this position for 3-5 seconds, and then switch legs.
Sitting at a desk all day can certainly ruin your posture, as well as give you a bad back. The ‘victory’ exercise helps you to exercise the muscles in your back without even leaving your chair, and it also helps develop your inner core muscles. Begin the exercise by getting into the perfect posture position in your seat. Next, exhale while stretching upright, extending your arms like a pointed arrow in the air. Hold this position and then lean forward opening up your arms. Make sure you inhale during this final position to strengthen your core muscles.
Sticking to a long term exercise program can be difficult, especially if the program requires you to go to the gym several times a week. Many people find that working out at home improves their chances of fitting their exercise regimen into their daily schedule. Home workouts are more convenient, require a smaller time commitment and are cheaper too.
Getting Started With Your Home Gym
The most difficult part of working out at home is figuring out what exercises to do. The exercise routine that you should follow will depend on your personal goals, as well as your exercise preferences. Someone who is training to get better at a specific sport will want to follow a different routine to someone who is interested in strength, aerobic fitness, or weight loss.
Before you embark on any fitness routine, you should speak to your doctor. This is particularly important if you have been sedentary for a long time, or if you have any pre-existing medical conditions.
Finding a Good Workout
If you do not have a lot of exercise experience, it is not a good idea to try to come up with your own exercise routine. Rather than simply guessing which exercises work well together, you should try a published workout that meets your goals.
If you are interested in aerobic fitness, weight loss, or just generally improving your overall fitness levels, consider investing in some workout DVDs. You can find DVDs for everything from step aerobics, yoga and Pilates, to Zumba and other workout-to-music routines. These routines are fun, entertaining and a good workout.
If you are more interested in strength training, then there are lots of pre-designed weight lifting routines available online. Pick a program and stick to it for at least six to eight weeks. Do not get demoralized if the routine does not feel like it is working in the short term. It can take time to see results and if you jump from routine to routine without giving any of them a chance to work you will hamper your progress.
During the early stages of working out at home, it can be tempting to try to train every single day. This is not a good idea! If you train too often, you could burn out and get bored, or you could injure yourself.
Try to limit yourself to no more than five days a week or short, intense workouts. If you are following someone else’s routine and they recommend fewer workouts, then follow their recommendations. If you have excess energy and want to exercise more often you should limit the workouts you do on the other days to low or moderate intensity.
After following a workout routine for a few months you may notice that your progress plateaus. At that point you should re-evaluate your goals and make sure that your diet is correct and that you are getting enough rest. If you are sure that your diet is good and that you’re getting enough sleep, but you are still not making progress with your training then you can look at changing up your routine or adding new exercises.
Asthma and exercise isn’t one of the best combinations – just ask asthma sufferers. Physical conditioning and a healthy lifestyle do go hand in hand however, and they’re also essential in minimizing the asthmatic symptoms of asthma and other breathing conditions.
Asthmatics don’t have it easy when it comes to exercise, as most sports are inconvenient and high intensity. Swimming is often recommended to asthma sufferers to try and regulate asthmatic symptoms, but not everyone has access to a swimming pool all year round.
Although panting and wheezing are the most problematic effects of asthma, equipment such as treadmills or brief walking paths around your local park are always a great option to get your heart rate up. Here are some top tips on how to cope with asthma while jogging.
Tip 1 – Make sure that you warm up your lungs as well as your body. Before running a race, athletes make sure they stretch and warm up their legs, even going for a light jog before they knuckle down to start. It’s exactly the same for the lungs, and you wouldn’t want to go from stationary to sprinting without getting your lungs used to the airflow. Start out with a soft jog, and then work your way up to regular pace. If your chest starts to get a bit tight, slow all the way down and find the right gear for your body.
Tip 2 – Stress, anxiety and frustration can trigger an asthma attack, so make sure you’re completely relaxed when running. Breathing is the most important element when running, and focusing all your attention on your lungs instead of your speed will benefit you undoubtedly. The longer you run, the more relaxed you’ll find yourself, so don’t give up if you start to feel insecure.
Tip 3 – Practice your breathing, taking deep inhalations at regular intervals to regulate your oxygen intake. Not only will practicing your breathing techniques help to slow down an asthma attack, but it can even prevent one. Never hold your breath or breathe too slowly – your lungs will need a constant intake of air to regulate the oxygen distribution around the body, and the last thing you’ll want to feel is lightheaded!
Tip 4 – Always make sure you have your inhaler to hand when you’re jogging, whether you have to fit it down your sock or strap it to your arm. Your heart rate can spike at any time when out jogging, and your inhaler will help you with your breathing.
Tip 5 – Maintaining a good posture is essential when jogging, and always make sure to avoid bending over. Not only will this limit the flow of oxygen to your lungs, but a rush of blood to the head could make you pass out – this tip also applies to running machines!
Tip 6 – If you feel your lungs contracting, raise your arms over your head. Not only will this open up your airways allowing more oxygen to reach your blood, but it will also give you a chance to stretch and take a breather.
Exercising regularly is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Regular cardiovascular exercise can help to promote weight loss as well as improve the health of your heart and lungs. Strength training improves bone density and can reduce your risk of injury during normal day to day activities. Exercising does come with some risks, however. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe and reduce your chances of injury during exercise.
If you have a sedentary job and have not engaged in any regular exercise since you had P.E. lessons at school then it would not be a good idea to try to run a marathon or enter a gymnastics competition during the first few weeks of your new exercise regimen. Start gently and listen to your body. It’s normal to feel tired and a little achy after exercise, but if you experience serious pain during your workout then that is your body’s way of telling you to stop whatever it is you are doing.
You don’t have to rush out and buy expensive, high-tech clothing and equipment for your first few workouts, but it is important that you dress sensibly. Loose fitting tracksuit bottoms, a t-shirt and a decent pair of training shoes will do for most activities. If you find that you really enjoy your chosen sport you can invest in specialist gear later.
Consult Your Doctor
If you have an ongoing medical condition, speak to your doctor before you start exercising. You should also speak to your doctor if you experience chest pains or serious difficulty breathing during your training sessions.
Don’t Take Shortcuts
Always start your workouts with a gentle warm-up. A warm-up should consist of a few minutes of jogging, skipping or other light exercise, followed by some stretching. If you are lifting weights, start with a light weight (the empty bar is a good starting point). Get used to the movement and make sure that your form is perfect before you move up to heavier weights.
Start with a fairly short workout and increase the duration and intensity gradually as your fitness increases. Training for too long or pushing yourself too hard is likely to lead to serious injury. Take frequent, short breaks and sip on water throughout your workout. Pay careful attention to your hydration levels, especially when the weather is particularly warm or humid. Dehydration and heat exhaustion can strike suddenly and can be serious if not treated promptly.
Do not stop your workout abruptly. Spend a few minutes doing some low intensity cardio or light stretching to cool down.
Don’t Neglect Rest
In between workouts, try to get plenty of rest. When you are just starting to work out it is a good idea to give yourself at least 48 hours in between sessions to recover. You can increase the frequency of your workouts as you get more experienced.
Make sure that you are eating enough to sustain your current activity level and that you are getting plenty of sleep. Over-training whilst under-eating or getting too little sleep is likely to lead to injuries which would set your progress back a long way.
While sufferers of conditions such as hyperhidrosis always tend to finish their workouts looking as if they have just taken a shower, many others are prone to serious sweating too. Fortunately, this is generally no cause for real concern. However, heavy sweating can certainly be uncomfortable and you can take some steps to prevent it.
Take a Cool Shower before a Workout
While this may sound a little counter-intuitive, taking a cool shower before you start working out will not only ensure you begin exercising feeling cooler and fresher but will keep you that way for longer. Quite simply, it helps to stop you from overheating.
Exercise in Cool Environments
It’s important to work out in a room which is relatively cool. In addition, exercising outside when it is excessively hot is not a good idea. While this may seem pretty obvious, many don’t always pay attention to their environment. In short, the hotter the environment, the more you are going to sweat.
Wear Lightweight Clothing
Wearing lightweight clothing, especially if it is made from natural fibres, will significantly reduce your sweating. These types of fabric are generally highly breathable, which will go a long way in keeping your body cooler. Some kinds of synthetic clothing are also a good alternative as they are great for wicking sweat away from your body.
Take Care What You Eat and Drink
Eating or drinking the wrong types of things before you go for your workout will have a huge effect on the amount you sweat. Basically, anything that increases the metabolism should be resolutely avoided. For example, spicy foods are a real no-no. With regards to liquids, anything that contains caffeine should definitely be avoided. Stick to sports drinks and energy bars at least two hours before you train.
Get an Effective Antiperspirant
The fact is that while antiperspirants and deodorants smell great, many of them simply don’t function properly in preventing sweating. All they really do is cover up body odour and their effect doesn’t last that long. Therefore investing in a good quality antiperspirant, especially those that are known as “clinical”, will be well worth the trouble. These contain large quantities of aluminium chloride hexahydrate, which is great for sweat reduction. Speak to a specialist if you have any health worries concerning these types of products.
Consult a Doctor
If you try all of these steps and still find that you suffer from heavy sweating, you may need to consult a doctor. Indeed, if you tend to suffer from particularly heavy sweating even when you are not exerting yourself then there is a good chance you may have something such as hyperhidrosis. Unfortunately, only a doctor can be of help in this case.
Take Appropriate Vitamin Supplements
However, there is something else you can do without having to visit the doctor. You can begin a programme of vitamin supplements. There are several vitamins and minerals which are particularly useful and the most effective are B-Vitamin complexes (especially vitamin B6), vitamin E, magnesium and zinc. Zinc should be limited to around 30 to 50 mg per day and should be further supplemented with copper.