Thursday, 30 May 2013

COUNTER POSES IN YOGA






Counter-posing is followed for relieving strain on muscles after deep stretching. For example, a twist follows a backbend to “neutralize” the spine, a forward bend follows a backbend to help lengthen the spine and calm the nervous system.  These poses are the ones that ‘reset’ the body. All students can benefit from adding counter poses to their routines. For example counter pose for Paschimottanasa is Purvotanasana. It is most often thought of as an opposite stretch to the one last performed; for example, forward bending immediately after a deep backward bend. The counter pose of Sarvangasana is  Matsyasana. To derive maximum benefits, one must follow up Sarvangasana with Matsyasana and Sarvangasana must be preceded by Halasana. Counter poses allow one to flow in their practice teaching balance both on and off the mat; it brings awareness to our bodies, minds, emotions, and spirits

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

LIVER AND WEIGHT ISSUES


 The liver is the major fat burning organ in the body and regulates fat metabolism. Liver filters the blood, cleaning out the toxins like drugs, undigested foods, alcohol, viruses, bacteria, ingested chemicals from your body. It is also involved in metabolism, hormone balance, and immune functions. Many people struggle with excessive weight and sluggish metabolism. Whenever your liver is full of toxins, it becomes very challenging for your liver to burn fat. When the liver becomes clogged, every organ in your body is affected and efforts to lose weight are blocked. A clogged liver can cause raised blood pressure, water retention, and hormone imbalance, hypoglycemia which in turn can result in sugar cravings, weight gain, and Candida overgrowth. Common symptoms due to poor liver function are: Poor digestion, abdominal bloating, nausea, weight gain constipation, Irritable bowel syndrome, associated with abdominal swelling and flatulence, mood changes, depression, high blood pressure, water retention, chronic fatigue syndrome and unstable blood sugar levels.Some ways you can improve your liver health for weight loss are:1. Reduce or eliminate processed foods.
2. Drink 8-12 glasses of water daily.
3. Monitor meat and dairy intake.
4. Avoid Eating Large Amounts of Sugar.
5. Exercise.
6. Do Not Eat if You Feel Stressed.
Eating healthy is about removing all the toxins from your body so you can live in health, emotional wellness and spiritual connectedness.

WORKING OUT RIGHT

It is always a good idea to include weight training in your program when trying to lose fat. Cardio exercises will help you lose weight, but you need weight training as it will help change the entire shape of your body by burning fat and building muscle. Lifting weights will actually help you lose weight. Experts agree that resistance training is the best way to build and preserve lean muscle mass, which speeds up your metabolism. Weight training takes more strength than cardio.  Aim for lifting 3 days per week for 30-45 minutes. Women are told not lift weights, or to work with light weights with increased number of reps. But, heavy weights will not make women bulky as they don’t produce enough testosterone to build bulky muscles. If your aim is to lose weight and build muscle at the same time, aim for two 30-minute of cardio sessions per week. Practise Weights and Cardio on separate days. Another option would be to train large muscle groups in combination to optimize your calorie burn: shoulder presses combined with squats, rows with stiff-legged deadlifts, bicep curls with lunges. See to it that you take 1 or 2 days off as you need to, as muscles need time to recuperate. Lack of adequate rest lowers your body’s natural defences and also weakens your mental and emotional stability.

Monday, 27 May 2013

How helpful is massage?


Massage is a term used for pressing, rubbing and manipulating your skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Massage may boost immunity and can help problems such as premenstrual syndrome, high blood pressure arthritis, reduce heart rate, it can stimulate weak and inactive muscles, improves range of motion, enhances post-operative rehabilitation and increases endorphins. Asthmatic children show better pulmonary function. Massage is a perfect elixir for good health.
Styles used in massage therapy vary from long, smooth strokes to short, percussive strokes and can last can last anywhere from 5 minutes to 2 hours. The key is to use pressure firm enough to make a temporary indentation in the skin. Massage is not a good idea if you have a fever, infection, osteoporosis and other medical conditions. Discuss your condition with your health care provider before going in for a massage. Massage creates a feeling of well being while reducing anxiety. It creates awareness of body-mind connection, enhances a sense of harmony, and increases energy flow in your body. Massage helps Promotes relaxation and calmness foster a positive attitude reduces stress and brings about peace, helps ward off depression.
Massage is a powerful tool to help you take charge of your health and well-being.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

SHAPE UP THE RIGHT WAY


Nothing tastes as good as being thin. For some people losing weight can be very difficult. Some of us have to work harder to lose weight. A number of factors can make weight loss difficult for some people. Adding to the difficulty is the abundance of fad diets that tempt and confuse us, and ultimately fail.
Metabolic Slowdown: your metabolism naturally begins to slow down at around forty years. The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight, because by then your body and your fat are really good friends. It has been estimated that, you will need to consume approximately one hundred fewer calories per day after forty years to avoid weight gain. As we pass forty we begin losing muscle mass, so losing muscle also means burning fewer calories.
Don’t dig your grave with your own knife and fork.
Lots of people can’t lose weight even when they think they are eating healthy because they simply don’t realize how much food they eat. Portion control is very important to weight loss success. Giving in to cravings, denying yourself meals, eating the wrong types of foods, eating when you’re happy or sad or depressed, stressed or lonely are all bad habits that people pick up. It’s difficult to break bad habits. If you want to lose weight, be committed to the cause.
Rich, fatty foods are like destiny:  they too shape our ends. We need a healthy and balanced diet. If you feel you cannot have a healthy diet because you do not know what a healthy balanced diet is, it will be best to consult a nutritionist. Eat food in balanced proportions: 40% Carbohydrates, 30% Fat, 30% Protein. Eat foods as close to nature as possible: vegetables, grains, and fruits are best. You must drink 1.5 to 2 litres of water per day. Toxins and residues are easily removed from our metabolism if we drink sufficient water. Our diet should not become an obsession. Eat slowly, when you eat slower, enjoyment will last longer, be more satisfying, and it feels like you’re eating more while actually you are eating less. Chew your food slowly and thoroughly (between 20 & 30 times), you should chew so well that it should feel as if you are drinking your food. Chewing satisfies your appetite, improves your digestion, and discourages your body from storing fat.
It is both genetic and environmental why some people are overweight and obese. There can be emotional reasons that we don’t want to lose the weight although it only hits a few of us, and isn’t always the reason. Get to know your body’s new biological rhythms — and adjust to them.
If your job involves sitting, it is not going to help you burn calories. Even if you have a job that involves being on your feet all day, it won’t help very much if it does not include aerobic activity that increases heart and lung activity. If you don’t work out consistently, it’s tough to lose weight. Set up a reasonable workout schedule that you can follow.
Many people have undiagnosed medical conditions like diabetes, insulin resistance, thyroid problems, or metabolic disorders that can make it difficult for them to lose weight. Your doctor will be the best person to guide you through this. You can also go to an alternate therapist to help you with your illness and thereby your weight issue.
People who sleep less than six hours a night experience an increase in their body mass index more than those who sleep seven to eight hours.
Stress leads to weight gain. Find ways to combat stress. Yoga, meditation, music and dance help reduce stress.
Your body is a temple, not a drive-through. Weight loss is a constant battle. It is not easy to lose weight and maintain the lower weight, but it is possible. Keeping track of what you eat, your exercise regimen, getting a support network of friends and family involved, and tackling your mental and emotional issues can lead to better success.

Good Health with Meridians



Traditional Chinese medicine deals with emotional blockages through acupuncture and herbs. Acupuncture meridians can be found throughout the body. There are 12 primary acupuncture meridians that surface to the skin twelve separate times and appear to be segments. Each meridian runs on both sides of the body–mirroring itself. These meridians interconnect with one another under the surface.
Meridians connect specific teeth, organs, tissues, in fact, every part of the body. Meridians are classified as ‘yin’ or ‘yang’, essentially on the basis of the direction in which they flow on the surface of the body. Stimulation of the acupoint excites the nerve cells and this in turn causes a domino effect that excites the entire meridian in the body. With the excitation of cells, a certain force is generated which works to open up blocked areas of energy flow in the body, primarily along the neuro-muscular junctions.
Each meridian has a time period where its energy is strongest. They are also associated with specific emotions. The twelve primary energy meridians, their time periods and the main emotions linked with them are:
 1. LUNG MERIDIAN (3am – 5am); grief, intolerance
2. LARGE INTESTINE MERIDIAN (5am – 7am); guilt
3. STOMACH MERIDIAN (7am – 9am); disgust, greed
4. SPLEEN MERIDIAN (9am – 11am); worry, anxiety about the future
5. HEART MERIDIAN (11am – 1pm); joy, anger
6. SMALL INTESTINE MERIDIAN (1pm – 3pm); insecurity, sadness
7. BLADDER MERIDIAN (3pm – 5pm); fright, impatient, restless
8. KIDNEY MERIDIAN (5pm – 7pm); fear, indecision
9. PERICARDIUM/CIRCULATION-SEX (7pm – 9pm); hurt, extreme joy, jealousy, regret
10. TRIPLE WARMER/THYROID MERIDIAN (9pm – 11pm); hopelessness, depression, despair
11. GALL BLADDER MERIDIAN (11pm – 1am); rage, wrath
12. LIVER MERIDIAN (1am – 3am); anger, unhappiness
There are two pathways, the central and governing meridians, which are considered meridians, even though they do not correspond to a particular major organ.
Anger is created by blockages on the Liver meridian, an excess of joy is created by blockages on the Heart meridian, pensiveness is created by blockages on the Spleen meridian, grief by blockages on the Lung meridian, and fear is created by blockages on the Kidney meridian. If for some reason there are blockages in any meridian, the specific emotion that is associated with that particular meridian is going to be created as well.
When the Chi flows freely through the meridians, the body is balanced and healthy. Each meridian carries a specific emotional issue. So whatever you deal with, your body records it in that appropriate spot.
When your body records an emotion, it is stored in the region and remains there until you make an attempt to address it and resolve it. Therefore, it is necessary that you concentrate on dealing with your emotions and releasing them for a healthy set of meridians! Consult an energy healer to facilitate chakra balancing, energy transfer techniques to release blocks and thus move the energy in your meridians, chakras and auric field. Affirmations, meditation, crystals and colour visualizations can also help.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

The importance of stretching


Many times, people tend to believe that their focus should solely lie on the core of their workout. In the process, they forget something that is even more important: Stretching. This post is dedicated to opening your eyes to the importance of stretching.

Image from here
Stretching is useful for both injury prevention and injury treatment. It helps improve flexibility, makes you feel more relaxed, enhances movement, promotes circulation and protects against injury. You should stretch after a warm-up and when cooling down after a workout. If you want to stretch following your warm-up make it quick, don’t push it too far, as your muscles won’t t be fully warmed up, and stretching a cold muscle is harmful. Stretching too far actually can damage the muscles.

Recuperation can be increased when one stretches 10-15 minutes as a cool down. Stretching after an intensive workout, helps reduce muscle soreness commonly known as DOMS (delayed onset muscle sore) which occurs a day after your workout. Stretching before going to bed relaxes the muscles and will help you unwind from the tension of the day and have a good nights sleep but make sure that you don’t overstretch and injure yourself.  Stretching can help improve flexibility. Improved flexibility will make you feel more relaxed, enhance movement, promote circulation and protect against injury. It increases blood flow to the muscle. Stretching helps muscle growth as it lengthens your muscles and thus giving your muscle fibres a greater range of motion when lifting weights.

Static stretching refers to passive stretching where a stretch is held in a specific location for 10-15 seconds. Ballistic or Bouncing Stretches involve dynamic muscular movements, like bouncing bent over hamstring stretch which when performed before exercise will help prevent injuries during your workout. Active-isolated stretching involves isolating one muscle group at a time and stretch it by contracting the opposite muscle, hold the stretch for 1 or 2 seconds and repeat 8 to 10 times.  You can also use a rope or a partner to enhance the stretch.

Stretching helps prevent injury and reduce pain. Muscles become sore after exercise because they accumulate lactic acid. Lactic acid is what makes your muscles sore and tight after you work out. To prevent muscle soreness, you should incorporate a cool down session after working out that includes a lot of stretching. Stretching will help your muscles release some of the lactic acid, and you won’t feel so sore after your workout. Make sure you hold each stretch and focus in on the muscles that you worked on during your workout for maximum results.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Using Acupressure to heal yourself



Acupressure is a technique where the energies of the body are regulated by manipulating points on the body which has effects on the emotions, tension and physical conditions. Two ways that acupressure points can be manipulated are by pressing (reinforcing) and reducing them.  To press points, use something blunt. Fingertips can be used on some points, pencil eraser that’s on the other side of a pencil would be a better option. When you are not feeling any effects from pressing points, several things may be the case. You may not be pressing on the exact spot acupuncture points are about 0.5 mm diameter, so you’ll have to be precise. Try different spots around the location you first tried. Pressure can be applied for a duration of 30 to 60 seconds. Wait for two hours after eating before using these points. 

A FEW POINTS FOR SIMPLE PROBLEMS
(1 cun = width of the thumb, in the middle, at the crease 3 cun = combined breadth of the 4 fingers, at the level of the pinky finger’s first joint above the palm of the hand, 12 cun = the distance from the elbow crease to the wrist crease.)
 Lung (LU) 7 located 1.5 cun above the wrist crease. found by sliding your finger from the thumb side of your wrist crease over the styloid process and press where sore.
 Uses: colds (sneezing, chills, runny nose), sore throat.
Lung (LU) 9: On the Lung meridian, located at the wrist crease on the radial side of the radial artery, found by feeling the pulse in your wrist near the joint and moving your finger towards the thumb.
Uses: cough, asthma, shortness of breath 
P6:   Let your  palm  face upward. Measure three finger widths from the wrist line to the middle of your wrist. Locate the two tendons in the middle of your wrist–these are the palmaris longus and the flexor carpi radialis.Find the spot between the two tendons in the wrist–this is the P6 pressure point.  Useful in treating nausea, reflux, and hiccups. It helps get relief from motion sickness.
Ki1 Point: This point is located on the sole of the foot. Slide your finger along the bottom of your foot,  underneath the “pads.” Between the pads of the big toe and the second toe, you’ll find a little depression or hollow. Press until you find a point that is very sensitive. Hold or massage that point. Can be used for cooling hot flashes, night sweats, palpitations, anxiety and insomnia.
 SP6: On the inside of the lower leg, one hand width (four fingers) above the tip of the ankle bone, on the back of the shin bone. Can be used for digestive disorders, gynaecological issues, male sexual issues, menstrual issues insomnia, palpitations, and other anxiety related emotions, dizziness and hypertension. 
ST-36: On the front of the leg, one hand width (four fingers) below the kneecap, on the outside, in the depression between the shinbone and the leg muscle. This point can strengthen the body, especially the immune system; tone the muscles and aid digestion; and relieve fatigue.
LIV-3: top of the foot in the webbing between the big toe and the second toe. The point is located about 3  finger widths from the edge, in the depression the size of a finger tip you can feel there. Relaxes and unblocks emotions, depression, headaches, menstrual pain, anxiety. 
 CV12 is on the mid line of the body, halfway between your breastbone’s base and your belly button.. CV12  specifically treats heart burn. 
 CV6 is two finger widths under the belly button. CV6 alleviates abdominal pain, bloating and constipation.
Large intestine 4: Is found on the muscle between the thumb and index finger and may be stimulated to relieve headaches at the front of the head.
GV 16: Is located in the center of the back of your head, in the large hollow under the base of the skull.  Helps to release mental stress relieves neck pain, headache, soreness in general, sore throat, hypertension, nightmares, trauma, fear, and insomnia.
GV 24 : Is between the eyebrows, in the indentation where the bridge of the nose meets the forehead. This point balances the function of the pituitary gland, anxiety, emotional trauma, and dizziness.
Large Intestine 11: Is located at the elbow crease. Bend your forearm with your hand towards your neck,  the point is located at the end of the crease at the elbow. It’s at the very end of the crease, on the thumb side of the arm. This point is good for flus and colds and for a throat that’s sore and swollen.

 Large Intestine 4: Is located in the dorsal web space, between the first and second metacarpal bones, on the highest point of the bulge formed when the thumb is adducted. Is helpful for colds, sneezing, runny nose and sore eyes, alleviates pain in the shoulder and arm, sinus congestion, allergies, headaches, sore throat, fever and toothaches.
Gallbladder 41: Is located in the area on your foot between your fourth and fifth toes, moving backward  until you cross a thick tendon and feel where the two tarsal bones inside your foot meet. Gallbladder 41 helps to regulate hormonal function.

Monday, 20 May 2013

What IS Yoga?



Yoga is basically a lifestyle and a way of life. Yoga, with its focus on stretching and compressing every part of the body, is particularly well-suited to keeping the waste-removal parts of the body functioning well. It aids in mental detox as well. Challenging yoga poses can also raise the emotions. You will notice (during your yoga session) that some areas of your body respond easily, while others remain less accessible. Certain poses and sequences create different experiences and different emotions.  Asanas are triggers for emotions to be released (pent up emotions are held in the internal organs). They help us move within our body, and help to connect the body with the mind.
By releasing our negative emotions we become centred, relaxed and happy. The spinal twist assists your body in gently squeezing and moving the toxins through your body. Twisting positions help in untangling the knots and twists of life. Inverted asanas help purify the mind and bring peace.  If our minds are imbalanced then it is difficult to balance in one of the balancing positions. These postures help bring peace and balance to the mind and body. The forward bends force us to look inward at ourselves. We have to surrender if we are to relax in these positions. Your breathing is the key. Breathing brings the poses to life.
When emotions come up while doing an asana if it is mild then stay in the pose to let it out. If it is too much to deal with come out of the asana and do some deep breathing or a counter pose. If you are in a forward bend then a backward bends and vice versa. Ujjayi breathing can help to remove the tension. Don’t question whatever comes up just accept and let go.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Helping you Conceive



Fighting with infertility to get pregnant causes stress and frustration for women. Trying to conceive can be the first frustrating part of parenthood. The reasons of infertility may be many, but here are a few alternative therapies which may help in addition to your medical treatment.
The human body has seven basic chakras which control the metaphysical energy within the body. The Swadhisthana or navel chakra controls a person’s sexual vitality and fertility. This is the chakra you should focus on when you have fertility problems. This is the chakra from which we emotionally birth new ideas. To improve the energy flow to this area, it is easy to wear some orange stones on the body nearby. Amber is very good to solve childless issues. Wear it on a belt hung low from the waist.
To enhance the abilities of the navel chakra, try to keep chakra stones within your aura as long as possible. Wear them during the day and at night put them under the pillow.  Carnelian, Garnet, Moonstone and Tiger’s Eye also work well with the Sacral Chakra.
There are many foods and drinks that you should avoid as they affect your chances to conceive. Irregular ovulation in many cases is caused by refined carbohydrates as they influence the insulin production directly. Caffeine reduces fertility.
Bach flower remedies such as Gentian, Gorse, Impatiens, Star of Bethlehem, Vervain and White Chestnut can help. Of course the mental pattern has to be addressed.
Three months prior to the time you want to conceive, rose essential oil can be of great help. A few drops to the couple’s bath water or a couple of drops added to 2 ounces of carrier oil and massaged into the abdomen area will help. Geranium can help balance hormonal activity.   Chamomile is a calming essential oil that relieves menstrual ailments such as pain. Basil helps improve overall energy and helps strengthen reproductive health. Lavender and Jasmine and promote relaxation as well as improve libido.
Yoga asanas aid conception and help counter infertility. Ardha Matsyendrasana, Supta Padangusthasana, Paschimottanasana, Supta Baddha Konasana, Viparita Karani, Baddha Konasana, Dwi Pada Rajakapotasana are some of the beneficial poses.
Last but not the least creative visualisation and meditation will also help you in your quest to conceive a child. Watch this space for a few meditations!

Friday, 17 May 2013

Working on the Sacral Chakra for Physical Well Being:



The Sacral Chakra is about friendliness, creativity, sexuality, emotions and intuition on the gut level. It’s influenced by how emotions were expressed or repressed during childhood. It is the sexual centre for women. Parts of the body controlled by the lumbar plexus are the reproductive system, abdomen, and the lumbar region. Symptoms of this chakra spinning too fast are, being emotionally unbalanced, manipulative, and sexually addictive. Symptoms of it spinning too slowly are over sensitivity, feels guilty for no reason, and frigidity or impotence. If it is balanced one will feel, expressive, creative, and trusting.  When it is in balance we are fully able to express and feel our emotions.
An imbalance will first resonate as a tingle, ache or sensitivity in the sacral region.  It can cause feelings of possessiveness, jealousy, envy, and self-regret on all levels. It can make you feel guilt and shame; your sense of humour may be lacking.
On a physical level, an imbalance in the sacral chakra can lead to sexual dysfunction, impotence, frigidity, or promiscuity; in women: fibroids, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, menstrual dysfunction, ovarian cysts or cancer; in men: prostate problems inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis; appendicitis; chronic low back pain or sciatica; bladder problems or urinary problems. Our sacral chakras can become unbalanced when we are overly concerned with appearances or how others perceive us.
Information Stored in this Chakra relates to first impressions, old emotional pictures, ancestral “baggage and controlling patterns.
To restore Balance to an Overworked Chakra use purple colour (use purple clothes, or use purple gemstones, eat purple foods, etc.) as Purple is orange’s “complementary colour”.
Use music to help you stay connected with yourself and your sacral chakra. Use your hips while dancing to music that has passionate rhythm. Experience your feelings as they come instead of burying emotions and dwelling in the past. Burn or smell essential oils, such as sandalwood, jasmine, orange blossom or sage, to help you.
Yoga poses that open the hips and groin area, such as bound angle, pigeon and squatting pose Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (Pigeon Pose), Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose), Upavistha Konasana (Open Angle Pose), and other hip and groin openers will stimulate the sacral chakra.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Working on the Root Chakra for Physical Well Being


The chakras in our bodies are energy centres. Being thus, each chakra vibrates or rotates at a different speed. The root or first chakra rotates at the slowest speed, the crown or seventh chakra at the highest speed.
The Root Chakra begins its development during the ages 0-7 years.  Any verbal, mental, physical abuse or lack of security during these years will leave a negative imprint in this Root Chakra. The endocrine gland associated with this chakra is the adrenals. When this chakra is balanced we feel grounded and balanced.  Imbalanced root chakra leads to eating disorders, smoking, drug-taking, drinking too much alcohol, low back pain, lupus, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, thyroid disorders, AIDS, cancer, allergies, haemorrhoids, constipation and sciatica.  Depression may result from a dislike of your own body. Prosperity issues stem from the Root Chakra. Emotional signs of imbalance can be addictions, crisis of creativity, sexual listlessness and lack of vitality. Problems like obesity, anorexia nervosa, and knee troubles can occur.  An unbalanced root chakra is associated with not having a strong sense of personal identity or purpose in life. If this chakra is underactive there will be frigidity for women and impotence for men. The person will lose interest in being active. On the other hand, if this chakra is overactive, one will become addicted to sex and its pleasures in an abnormal way.
The best way to awaken this chakra is dance. House cleaning and cooking is also grounding. Hug a tree, take care of your plants. The mudra to balance this chakra is Gyan mudra-tips of your index finger and thumb should touch.
Kapalabhati is one of the rapid breathing exercises that stimulate your root chakra. This is how it is performed: Sit in a cross legged position. Gently exhale all of the air from the lungs then inhale. Exhale sharply through your nose, pulling the lower stomach muscles back as you do so. Continue to pump out your exhale breath using your stomach muscles for 20 breaths. The inhale should be an automatic reflex and you should only really be focusing on the exhalation alone. Begin slowly, aiming for 65-70 strokes per minute. Gradually quicken the pace you can go up to 95-105 exhalation/inhalation cycles per minute. Do this your own pace and stop if you feel faint or dizzy.
After one minute of the exercise, inhale deeply through the nostrils, and then exhale slowly through your mouth. Depending on your experience level, you may repeat this pranayama. Focus on your lower belly and your exhalations throughout the practice. Do not contract your abdomen when you inhale. Keep your spine erect and shoulders still throughout the practice.
The asana you perform for balancing the root chakra is the Virabhadrasana 1 (warrior), Garudasana (eagle pose), Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Posture), Shalabhasana and Janu Shirshasana.

HORMONE BASED BODY TYPES


In the earlier post, we read about the structure based body classifications- the Endomorph, Ectomorph and Mesomorphs. However, this is not the only typology for the human body. Based on the hormonal secretion, one’s body takes different forms, and thus, there is another basis of segregation. One may wonder which segregation should take precedence over the other- but this is like asking which function of the human body takes precedence over the other- we breathe, think, digest, excrete and feel, ALL AT THE SAME TIME!! In a similar manner, our body structures fit the bill of both classifications at the same time. Different people have different body structures. It was found that weaknesses in the functions of glands or organs can contribute to different body shapes, which are largely designed by the accumulation of excess fluid and fat. Many people may express a combination of these body types.
 
Men have only three body types, because for the male body, the Adrenal and Gonadal Types are combined. So men can only be Thyroid Types, Adrenal Types or Pituitary Types. Women’s body structures can be either: Thyroid Types, Adrenal Types, Gonadal Types or Pituitary Types.
Thyroid types have high waist, long limbs, they normally crave starch, caffeine, sweets. A sluggish thyroid may contribute to the overall body shape. This body type diet recommends plenty of vegetables and low-fat dairy. Moderate legumes, whole grains, butter and fruit.
 
Adrenal types have slim hips, larger above the waist, crave fat, salt and alcohol. Adrenal exhaustion can contribute to the overall body shape. Adrenal types should eat plenty of low-fat dairy, whole grains, legumes and vegetables.
 
Gonadal Types (Gonads and Ovaries) are normally pear shaped, round bottomed and have a slim top. Cravings are for spicy,  rich foods. Diet should include lots of fruit, vegetables, legumes, Whole grains, Low-fat dairy
 
Pituitary types are characterized by a small, youthful figure and they crave for dairy and sweets.  Your daily diet should have a lot of lentils, Fresh Vegetables, Fenugreek tea.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

STRUCTURE BASED BODY TYPES



When one is looking to prepare a fitness regime, it is necessary to understand how your body is made. Physiologists have divided us into three basic body types: Ectomorphs, Endomorphs and Mesomorphs.

Ectomorphs are people who have slim bodies, long lean limbs, with shoulders and hips of a similar width. They find it very difficult to build muscles, find it hard to maintain their weight. Cycling, martial arts, jogging or walking suit this type. They generally need less aerobics and should do strength building.

Endomorphs are people with the classic pear shape body.  They spend their lives fighting fat..  This type can put on muscle. Cross training, weights, interval training and mountain climbing are ideal exercises. A cardiovascular workout of at least 40 minutes, 3-5 times per week is desired. A Strength training program composed of higher repetitions is a must.

Mesomorphs have broad shoulders and large or medium frames. They lose weight easily, gain  muscle easily. Boot camp, Weight training and yoga suit this type. They generally need a balanced strength training program composed of low repetitions for size and high repetitions for definition.

That said, these categories are not strict, water-tight segregations. An Ectomorph might have a little of Mesomorph in her. Similarly an Endomorph might have a little of Mesomorph in her. It is not uncommon to find a pure mesomorph that gains weight like an endomorph for example. No amount of exercise will transform a short-limbed woman into a long-limbed one, because characteristics, such as the width of your hips and shoulders or whether you are small or big boned are unchangeable. Even if you follow a diet, if it’s not right for your body type, you will not burn fat. Just because an Endomorph stores fat more easily doesn’t mean they are destined to be overweight.  To lose body fat we need to create an energy deficit no matter what your body type. Many people tend to think if they combine weight training with cardio, it will help building muscle while burning calories. But, both cardio and resistance training should be incorporated into a fitness plan yet executed separately.

Another fitness fallacy is that resistance training is that it will produce large, unattractive muscles. But strength training is not only necessary for overall health, it’s beneficial for women too.  If you are not sure how to identify your body type ask fitness professionals to help identify and design a plan according to your body type. Just follow a very simple rule. Tailor your fitness program to suit your body, and in the process, add a dash of cardio and resistance training and top it off with a healthy diet. And hey presto! You have your very own fitness mantra in place!

Thursday, 9 May 2013

How much can you exercise?



You are the only one who can decide just how much exercise is best for you. How much exercise your body needs, depends on you, whether you trying to lose weight, increase endurance, increase fitness level and so on. Therefore you must evaluate your exercise goals.

If your goal is to remain healthy and fit then an everyday walk will suffice, but if you want to perk up your fitness level then a more intense regimen will be required. 

If you are exercising to lower your blood pressure you should adhere to your physician’s advice. The same goes for pretty much every medically prescribed exercise routine. 


A common misconception about exercise and health is that the health benefits of exercise come from losing weight and that if you exercise a lot and don’t lose weight then there’s no point in exercising. 

But here's the truth: regular exercise is not about weight loss, but about keeping fit. Yes, weight loss is an important factor when your health is at stake. But, it isn't the only thing about exercising. Regular exercise which is a great stress buster greatly improves your health even if it doesn’t cause you to lose weight. 

Exercise benefits every part of the body, including the mind. Exercise helps people lose weight and lower the risk of some diseases like type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and high blood pressure. Exercise can help a person age well. Aerobic activities use large muscles to momentarily boost heart rate. When performed on a regular basis, aerobic activity boosts one’s cardio-respiratory fitness which causes you to breathe harder and increases your heart rate. Some of the examples of aerobic fitness are brisk walking, running, cycling and swimming. 

If you are really out of shape, start with short bouts of exercise, such as walking for 10 minutes once or twice a day. As long as you walk briskly enough to raise your heart rate for 10 minutes, that is adequate to begin with. Gradually increase the duration until you can comfortably walk three times a day for 10 minutes or for one 30-minute session. You can also gauge your exercise intensity by measuring your heart rate. Moderate-intensity exercise should be done at 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. Estimate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. Muscle-strengthening exercises work on all major groups of muscles such as legs, abdomen, chest, arms, and shoulders. You will need to maintain a muscle-strengthening workout for at least two days in a week. Some examples are push-ups, lifting weights, working with kettle-bells and working with resistance bands. By combining different activities in this way, you will increase the ‘range of motion’ of your body parts while they are training, as well as developing different ‘specific skills’ such as agility, balance,  flexibility and co-ordination. 

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Why do you need Nutrients?


The human body requires nutrients in order to function well. If you aren’t getting the nutrients your body needs, you can easily slip into depression. The nutrients known to be essential for human beings are proteins, carbohydrates, fats and oils, minerals, vitamins, and water.

Proteins
Proteins are made of amino acids which are necessary for growth and tissue repair.. Animal foods such as meat, fish, poultry, milk, and eggs are rich in protein. Good plant sources of protein are beans, peas, nuts, bread, and cereals.

Carbohydrates
Starches and sugars are carbohydrates, the main source of the body’s energy. Carbohydrates account for about half of the calorie intake Carbohydrate-rich foods are also the main sources of protein for most of the world. Rice, wheat, corn, and potatoes are common rich sources of carbohydrates.Sugars are not essential foods. It is an empty calorie food.

Fats
Fats and oils are a source of energy. Fats in the diet are necessary for good health. They make certain vitamins available for use in the body, they cushion vital organs, they make up part of all body cells, and they help to maintain body temperature.

Minerals
Minerals are equally important. Almost all foods consist of some essential minerals. Most minerals are easy to obtain in quantities required by the body. A major exception is iron for children under age 4 and adolescent girls and women in the childbearing years. These groups need more iron than a normal diet may provide. Iron helps to build red blood cells. It also helps the blood carry oxygen from the lungs to each body cell. Rich sources of iron are meat, especially liver; egg yolks; and dark green vegetables. Calcium builds bones and teeth, and it is necessary for blood clotting. The best sources are milk and hard cheese, leafy greens, nuts, and small fishes.  Phosphorus works with calcium to make strong bones and teeth.  Other important minerals are sodium, potassium, iodine, magnesium, zinc, and copper.

Vitamins
Eating a wide variety of foods ensures getting enough vitamins whether or not they are identified. All living things need vitamins for growth and health. The body either cannot manufacture them at all or cannot normally manufacture them in sufficient amounts, and so must absorb them from food. Each vitamin has specific roles to play. Almost all foods contribute to a varied intake of essential minerals.
Fat-soluble vitamins. Four vitamins–A, D, E, and K–are known as the fat-soluble vitamins. They are digested and absorbed with the help of fats that are in the diet.
Vitamin A which is needed for strong bones, good vision, and healthy skin. They are found dark green and yellow fruits and vegetables.
Vitamin D is essential for children because it helps calcium and phosphorus to form straight, strong bones and teeth. The body can manufacture its own vitamin D in the presence of sunlight
Vitamin E helps to protect vitamin A and red blood cells. It is found in a wide variety of foods
Vitamin K is one vitamin that is made within the human body–by bacteria that live in the intestinal tract.  Green leaves of spinach, kale, cabbage, and cauliflower and also in pork liver have small amounts of it.
Fat-soluble vitamins can be stored in the body for long periods. They are stored mostly in the fatty tissue and in the liver.
Water-soluble vitamins. The vitamin B group of several vitamins helps to maintain healthy skin and a well-functioning nervous system. B vitamins also help to convert carbohydrates into energy. Vitamin C is needed for building the connective tissue that holds body cells together, healthy teeth, gums, and blood vessels, it helps the body to absorb iron. As they are not stored in the body it is essential to consume food containing the same.

Water
Water makes up about 60 percent of an adult’s body weight. Most fruits and vegetables  contain more than 90 percent water. It is essential to drink water (8 to 10 glasses but it can increase based on your activity and body weight).Water rids your body of toxins; provides the conduit through which nutrients are carried to your cells; and gives moisture to your ears, nose and throat. Water also prevents dehydration, which can make your organs malfunction and can be deadly. Some of the symptoms of nutrition deficiency  are, bleeding gums, slow wound healing, loss of sense of taste, muscle cramps, burning sensation on feet, anaemic, brittle bones, leg cramps, gum disease, dry skin to name a few. Medication is also known to cause nutrient  depletion, they might be stealing nutrients from your system or preventing their absorption’. As a result, you could end up feeling worse. Vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients can give your skin the youthful glow of good health.

Bloated?


Very often, you may feel a bloated or inflated feeling in your stomach, sometimes accompanied with belching or flatulence or the need to pass gas. If the extent of gas in your stomach is far too much for it to handle, you might wind up feeling pain. 

Today's post is a way for you to know how to reduce stomach bloating on your own. 


Regularise Bowel Movement: It is sometimes necessary to regularize your bowel movement, as pain due to bloating may be resolved by a visit to the toilet. What may appear to be gas may just be ignored bowel movement. 

Eat right: Certain foods like cabbages, cauliflowers, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, baked beans and carbonated drinks may lead to the formation of gas when digested. Similarly, fatty foods can also cause bloating. For some people, legumes can also raise the extent of gas in the body and lead to bloating.

Go easy on Fibres: True, that fibre-rich foods can aid digestion. While that is a plus, however, fibres are known to produce gas in large volumes upon digestion. Use fibres in your diet, but be sure not to pile up your plate with too much of them. 

Sodium woes: The presence of sodium in food in large quantities is another reason why bloating occurs. Eat foods that have low sodium content: fresh fruits and vegetables and roasted meat are some good examples. Avoid canned soups because they contain a large amount of sodium. 

Lessen the Lactic! Milk and milk products containing lactic acid compounds can  produce gas on digestion. Non-frozen yogurts and aged cheeses are safe options, though. 

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Tips for a healthy body



So you're thinking of getting fit and staying fit. Let's start you off with a few simple tips that can push you in the right direction. Incorporating these ideas into your daily life will give you an increased energy, stamina, and may even increase your longevity. 



Keep yourself well hydrated- with at least 8 to 10 glasses of water, a day. 

Up the amount of warer if you live in a tropical region, and if you workout regularly and tend to lose body water. 

Cut down on your intake of coffee and soda. You don't want to destroy your system with caffeine  and all that extra sugar.

Moderate your intake of sugar. Nothing is good if it is always saccharine sweet. 

Include whole grains, vegetable and fruits are your building blocks as they cover the entire spectrum of nutrition you need. Eggs, fish and non fat cottage cheese /lentils supply your protein requirements. 

Never skip breakfast as this is the meal which determines your energy for the day.