How to #motivate yourself to #exercise at #home?

Here are a few ways you can pep yourself up when you feel too bored or lazy to follow a fitness regime.

Exercise-jpgIf you thought working out at home is boring, monotonous and unexciting, give it a thought. While it might be pouring outside or you simply wake up late and miss out on your morning walk — working out at home is the best option. You just need to motivate and discipline yourself to exercise at home.

Ways to motivate yourself:

Start with a new workout gear
Working out at home doesn’t mean you can simply wear your pyjamas and start exercising. This will make you feel more lethargic. Invest in a good pair of workout gear. Start with a comfortable pair of shorts, tops and shoes to boost your confidence.

Play some peppy number
Says Namita Jain, wellness expert, “Put on some good music before you start working out, preferably something latest that is on your mind. This will keep your spirits high and will help you to workout better.”

Get a fitness DVD
When you are working out at home, you do not have a personal trainer to help you with your exercise. Thus get a fitness DVD — like a one for yoga, aerobics or some other dance form. It gives you a feeling of working out in a gym or a fitness studio and you do not feel like you are working out alone.

Choose the right workout
Working out at home also requires you to choose the right kind of workout that will keep you motivated to exercise. If you are the kind of person who gets bored walking on the treadmill or cycling at home, go in for pilates, yoga or zumba!

Set up a routine
Working out at home requires a lot of discipline. The best thing about exercising at home is that you can workout any time during the day. Set yourself a time — are you more energetic in the mornings or do you like exercising after work? Spare yourself an hour every day and keep to it. You can also set a reminder on your mobile so that you do not miss out on your workout.

Stock your fridge with healthy eats
Says Samir Purohit, fitness expert, “Make sure that you keep only healthy edibles in your fridge. Store some juices, soya milk etc that will keep you motivated to workout.”

Hang a ‘reach your goal’ list
Make sure you hang a note on your wall reminding you of the upcoming events that you need to exercise for — like a friend’s wedding, reunion or a date.

Put up pictures of your slimmer self
Says Althea Shah, fitness expert, “Putting up pictures when you were fitter or slimmer will motivate you to workout.” Find old pictures where you are wearing skinny jeans or pin up pictures of fitter celebrities on your fridge.

Ask a friend to join you
When you are working out at home, it tends to become very monotonous over a period of time. Call your best friend and ask him/her to drop by at your place for a workout every morning or after working hours. This will keep you going and you will feel motivated to shed those extra kilos.

Vary your workouts
Changing your workout routine every four to six weeks will keep you excited and help you lose weight faster. Take a week off every six weeks to relax, recover and renew your energy, heal your body and clear your mind before you are ready to start again.

Don’t #workout on an #empty #stomach

Gym-goers and athletes tend to push themselves on empty stomachs in the belief they’ll burn up more fat.

Girl-stretching-jpgMost believe in the theory that exercising on an empty stomach will make the body use up fat reserves and covert it into energy instead of the glucose or carbohydrates that may be readily available from a meal or a drink before the workout. But while it seems to make sense, research now shows that exercising on an empty stomach doesn’t offer any benefit and may actually work against you.

According to a recent report published this year in a fitness journal in the US, it has been established that the body burns the same amount of fat irrespective of whether you eat before or after a workout. But the problem arises in the fact that dizzy spells notwithstanding, you will lose muscle by exercising in a state of hunger. The study also found that and without food to help the workout, the intensity of the exercise and the total calorie burn will be reduced. So, that leaves you not only exhausted, but with less muscle and no energy to burn more fat.

The studies found that when people trained with nothing in their stomachs, about 10 percent of the calories they burned came from protein, including muscle.

In an earlier study, researchers had found that eating light before a meal was beneficial. Those who consumed 45 grams of carbohydrates before their workouts ended up eating less through the rest of the day.

Experts now advise a light meal of oats or even a milkshake before a workout will go a long way in extending the benefits of the time spent in a gym. Those pushing the heavy ones in the hope of building muscle are well advised to go the Dara Singh way of egg ‘n’ milkshake.

Make the #right #lifestyle #choice

Tea or coffee? Walking or running? We’re faced with so many lifestyle choices throughout the day, but how do you know you’re making the right ones? Here’s what the experts say…!!!

Healthy-family-in-kitchen-jpgTea or coffee?
“Black tea usually has far less caffeine than coffee, while green tea is packed with heart-healthy antioxidants,” says Kate Cook, nutrition coach. “Coffee acts a bit like rocket fuel, kick-starting the adrenal glands and triggering the release of the stress hormone, cortisol. Not the best start to the day.”

Answer: Tea

Mints or chewing gum?
“Mints can cause extensive decay,” warns cosmetic dentist Dr Teresa Day. If you want to
freshen your breath, use mouthwash or chew a sugar-free gum.

Answer: Sugar-free gum

Fruit juice or fruit?
“The fibre in fruits make it far more satisfying and filling with fewer calories,” says Kate. “Fruit juices tend to be loaded with sugar.”

Answer: Fruit

Exercise in the morning or evening?
“Studies show that morning exercisers are likely to stick with it,” explains Janey Holliday, fitness instructor. “You’re likely to have a healthier day because of the endorphins flowing throughout your body. While exercise helps you sleep better, working out too late in the evening will actually disrupt your sleep.”

Answer: Morning

Walk or run?
“Power walking — not strolling — ticks all the boxes,” says Janey. “Running burns around 30 per cent more calories, most people can’t run as far as they can walk. Walking as fast as you can while pumping your arms is not only a great cardiovascular exercise, it doesn’t require as much energy as running either.

Answer: Walk

Hard or soft massage?
“The point of massage isn’t to stimulate the skin, but the muscles lying deep below the skin,” says physiotherapist Sammy Margo. “A professional massage should be effective in relieving tension, increasing circulation to the muscles, so it requires medium to firm pressure.”

Answer: Hard

Yell, or walk away and calm down?
“Count to 10,” advises Dr Cary Cooper, Professor of Health and Psychiatry. “It’s better to calm down. If you just blow your top, the person you’re angry at will become defensive and you won’t solve anything.”

Answer: Calm down

Floss or mouthwash?
“Cleaning between teeth with floss — or interdental brushes — removes the sticky plaque that tooth brushes cannot reach,” says Dr Henry Clover, dental advisor. “And while mouthwashes can be helpful to disguise breath odour.”

Answer: Floss

15 minutes without sun screen or two hours covered in factor 30?
“People need to be sun-aware and avoid sunburn at all costs,” advises dermatologist Paul Banwell. “It’s fine to be exposed to the sun for 15 minutes without sunscreen to reap Vitamin D benefits, but not in the midday sun.”

Answer: Both

Fresh or frozen?
“Research shows that frozen vegetables are as good. So, they quickly retain all their nutrients,” says nutritionist Zoe Harcombe. “But when it comes to fruit, I’d advise fresh every time. As for meat and fish, there’s little difference.”

Answer: Both

Heating pad or ice for minor injuries?
“The effective treatment for soft tissue injuries is the RICER regimen — Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation and Referral,” says Brad Walker, sports trainer. “Apply crushed ice within a plastic bag and a damp towel to avoid ice burns. Do this for 20 minutes every two hours.”

Answer: Ice

Early night or lie-in?
“Staying up late with the lights on keeps our stress hormone cortisol high and suppresses our sleep hormone melatonin when it should be rising,” explains sleep expert Sammy Margo. “This impacts our ability to deal with stress, lose weight, repair our tissues, and be ready for the new day. Try to sleep in a dark room by 10 pm.”

Answer: Early night

Fresh fruit or dried?
Fresh fruit has a higher water content (more than 80%), which means a larger volume, making the fruit more filling but with fewer calories, explains dietitian Ursula Arens. Dried fruit tends to stick to the teeth, increasing the risk of tooth decay.

Answer: Fresh

Fizzy drinks or fruit juice/ smoothies?
Nutritionally, the latter are a better option, but they’re both bad for teeth, says Dr Henry Clover. “Fresh fruit juice is acidic and, in excess, contributes to erosion of tooth enamel.” Water is by far the best drink for your health — and teeth — but if you do drink either fizzy drinks or fruit juice, limit the damage by drinking through a straw which takes the fluid away from your teeth.

Answer: Neither!

Top 10 #free #health & #fitness #apps

In today’s digital world, there’s very little that gets done without a smartphone. But as the (now) old joke goes, while phones are getting smarter and slimmer, the people using them are getting lazier and fatter day by day.

Cell-phones-jpgHowever, there is one way in which your slick phone can help you lose inches and get fit as well, and that is through smartphone health and fitness apps. Even better? Several of them are available free of cost. We give you a list of the 10 best health and fitness apps – all free – for a healthier and happier you.

Calorie counter & diet tracker

A quick and simple to use app, the Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker has the largest calorie food record, with more than 2 lac foods (including fast foods). There is no better diet app than this, if you want to take off those extra pounds.

Compatible with all android phones and requires iOS 4.3 or later for apple family phones.

Price Free download for both android and iOS users.

JEFIT

A great app for training enthusiasts, JEFIT helps improve strength and cardio workouts. This app tracks body information easily, creates routine and gives you a detailed database of exercises. JEFIT is your best pal when it comes to tracking and storing all your workout information.

Compatible with all android phones and requires iOS 4.0 or later for apple family phones.

Price Free download for android and iOS users.

Breathe2Relax

Designed to manage stress, Breathe2Relax provides detailed information on the effects of stress on the body and gives instructions and various exercises to help combat stress. This app is a buddy when you are all sad and upset, as it also helps to stabilize your mood and control anger.

Compatible with all android phones and requires iOS 3.2.2 or later for apple family phones.

Price Free download for android and iOS users.

Nike BOOM

This app syncs your music to your energetic training workouts. In order to keep your motivation high, you will get workout information from the most elite athletes and coaches from around the world.

You just need to choose your type of workout, length of training, workout song and favourite Nike athlete, to get started. You can even share your workout info on Facebook, to get cheers and encouragement from your friends.

Compatible with all android phones and requires iOS 4.0 or later for apple family phones.

Price Free download for android and iOS users.

Run keeper

The best personal trainer in your pocket. This app tracks, improves and measures your fitness. You will get detailed statistics of your pace, distance covered, time taken and calories burned per day. It also gives you progress and audio cues from coaches each day.

Compatible with all android phones and requires iOS 4.3 or later for apple family phones.

Price Free download for android and iOS users.

Daily yoga

If you prefer yoga as an exercise, then this is the app for you. Daily Yoga offers tips and poses to match the body areas of your choice. This app comes with instructional images and a timer to help you track your exercise session. A voice clip speaks out, when you lose your focus.

Compatible with all android phones and requires iOS 4.0 or later for apple family phones.

Price Free download for android and iOS users.

Fooducate

This app will help you make healthier food choices. Fooducate enables you to scan a food product while shopping and provides detailed nutritional value about the food product. So why wait? Download this app to stay toned and fit.

Compatible with all android phones and requires iOS 3.0 or later for apple family phones.

Price Free download for android and iOS users.

Instant heart rate

This app turns your phone into a heart rate monitor. It gives you a quick and accurate heart beat rate. Use it to optimize your workout or exercise regime and track your progress.

Compatible with all android phones and requires iOS 3.0 or later for apple family phones.

Price Free download for all android phones but you have to shell out Rs.54 if you are an iOS users.

Workout trainer

Loaded with many free workouts and tips from coaches, the Workout Trainer app will help you achieve your fitness goals. You can choose the exercise according to the area of focus. Detailed step-by-step, audio, photo, and video instructions are provided.

Compatible with all android phones and requires iOS 3.1 or later for apple family phones.

Price Free download for android and iOS users.

Desi nuskhe

This app provides ancient Indian home remedies for a variety of ailments, ranging from cough, cold to hair fall etc.

Compatible with all android phones.

Price Free download for android users.

Info courtesy: Itunes and Google play.

Images courtesy: Itunes and Google play.