Everyone loves a cup of coffee in the morning as it helps them stay alert and function well. Ever wonder why?…
Coffee helps you stay awake and alert, As coffee contains Caffeine which is a stimulant, So it incereases the blood flow to your brain thereby keeping you alert (as long as there’s enough caffeine is present in your body).
Now we know the basics of why you stay awake and alert after you have a cup of coffee.
Few Benefits of Drinking Coffee:
1.Coffee helps you focus better and keeps you energetic
As we’ve just read, it contains Caffeine which is a stimulant, more precisely Caffeine blocks the inhibitory neurotransmitter adenosine (in the brain ofcourse). So basically we don’t feel that we’re tired or sleepy as the signals form the brain are temporarily blocked.
2.Improve Physical performance
There’s probably one dude in every gym that chuggs red bull(has almost same amount of Caffeine) likes there’s no tomorrow for that “extra pump” before a set of curls .
This energy boost is because, Caffeine breaks down body fat, making free fatty acids available as fuel and hence improving you ability to perfrom physical activities better.
Therefore, it’s prefereble to have a strong cup of coffee about half an hour before you hit the gym.
Riboflavin (vitamin B2): 11% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI).
Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5): 6% of the RDI.
Manganese and potassium: 3% of the RDI.
Magnesium and niacin (vitamin B3): 2% of the RDI.
Coffee contains several nutrients such as riboflavin, pantothenic acid, manganese, potassium, magnesium and niacin.
4.High Source of Antioxidents
Coffee is a potent source of healthful antioxidants. In fact, coffee shows more antioxidant activity than green tea and cocoa, two antioxidant superstars. Scientists have identified approximately 1,000 antioxidants in unprocessed coffee beans, and hundreds more develop during the roasting process
Few studies show that adding milk can reduce the amount of antioxidants present in the drink- antioxidant reduction of up to 18% depending on the type and amount of milk used. And lighter the roast, higher antioxidant properties it has to offer, making them better for the drinker.
All in all, coffee is probably the best drink in the morning to have before you start your day, as it keeps you focused and energized; Although drink it in cycles as your body adjusts to the high levels of Caffeine, Preferably drink it for a month and two weeks off, to keep a balance.
Running in general is a pretty active sport, as it involves litreally moving most, if not every part of your body simultaneously for an extended period of time.
What parts of your body are engaged during a run?
The main muscles that are working the most when you run are your quads, hip flexors, hamstrings, glutes and calf muscles
Running aslo helps shape your abs!, as it’s a pretty killer core exercise- try squeezing in a run the next time when you train your abs.
Your brain, I’m not kidding, as regular cardiovascular exercise can spark growth of new blood vessels to nourish the brain, which in turn will help you increase your memory and your ability to learn too!
Benefits of Running
1.Running helps you increase your aerobic stamina– as running improves your cardiovascular fitness by increasing your capacity to use oxygen. It does this by increasing your heart’s capacity to send blood (and hence oxygen) to the muscles.
2.Burn some serious calories! as you’re probably aware, running isn’t a walk in the park. It requries huge amount of energy and stamina as compared to working out in the gym.
Here’s a graph comaparing runnig and walking,
Running on an empty stomach has an added benefit! someting called an ‘after-burn effect’. It helps burn more calories as the stored energy is being used in an empty stomach run!( don’t run too much as chances of you collapasing are higher).
3.Running and meditation are pretty much the same-Brain scans show that meditation and running can have a somewhat similar effect on the brain; simultaneously engaging executive functions and turning down the chatter of the default mode network. Again, this seems intuitively right: in the midst of a run, you are likely to be immersed in the present moment, tuned into your bodily state, and conscious of your breath. These are all key aims of mindfulness-based practices.
A 2018 experiment from West Michigan University, for example, showed that running quickly for half an hour improves “cortical flicker frequency” threshold. This is associated with the ability to better process information
4.Running Improves life expectancy– recent study said “runners had a 27% lower risk of dying during the study period from any cause compared with non-runners. Specifically, running was associated with a 30% lower risk of death from heart disease and a 23% lower risk of death from cancer”.
So you’re litreally runing away from death, and runners who also regularly took up other aerobic physical activities, such as cycling, swimming, walking, basketball, and racquet sports, had the greatest mortality benefit.
How Often Should You Run?
Generally, just two and a half hours total running per week was found to have the highest benefits in terms of improving overall longevity. This amounts to around 30 minutes of running per day, five days per week.
The basic rule is to increase weekly distance by no more than 10% each week. For beginners, it can be a good idea to follow the 2–3 runs of 30 minutes for the first month to be on the safe side, To prevent stressing your body.
If you feel like you need a rest day, take it. Don’t be fixated on reaching a goal number of miles in a week if you are feeling fatigued or sore.
Few Risks Associated to Running
It is equally important to know the risks of running,
Since running is considered a high impact sport. Long durations of running are linked with knee joint problems as you’re litreally hitting the ground with 2-3 times your body weight. So best not to run for too long, and take a few days off between very long runs.
Again running for long periods of time strains your heart, causing the walls of your heart to thicken, which might lead to irregular heart beats.
Let’s just say too much of anyting is bad, so best stick to limits which help bring a balance bewteen the both.(risks and benefits)
Make sure you have proper running gear before you being a run, like soft soul running shoes, thin and breathable shirts, helps remove sweat etc.. Most importantly, JUST ENJOY THE RUN!
Is it Really Important to stretch after a Workout?
Now many of you might ask, Is it really important to stretch after a workout session? You might be in a hurry, not in the mood to stretch or your being lazy or yada yada yadaa……..
Before I actually answer the question, Let’s see what stretching does to your muscles.
Basically, during an intense workout your muscles are under high tension and even after a workout your muscles are still stiff. Therefore they’re prone to injuries and sudden cramps.
To help avoid these, regular stretching helps improve flexibility, increases range of motion and reduces the risk of injury caused by lesions of the connective tissue. Stretching can be done in as little as 5-10 mins, so best not to avoid them!
What is Dynamic Stretching?
As the name suggests, these involve ‘active movements’ where the range of motion(ROM) is maximized to prevent injury and to loosen up the joints and muscles prior to a strenuous workout.
Dynamic stretches should be used as part of your warm-up routine before any athletic event, whether competitive or not.
Research has shown that dynamic stretching is effective for increasing flexibility, maximal muscle strength, sprint and vertical jump performance.
Also, according to research , dynamic stretching may help with leg extension power and improve performance, compared to static stretching or no stretching, Before HIIT exercises.
Here are a few Dynamic Stretches:
1.High Kicks-High kicks help warm up the hamstrings and improve range of motion. You can do them, alternating, as you walk, great to increse blood flow to your legs.
2.Jumping Lunges– It’s the advance version of the ‘lung’. The only thing different is the jump we add in and while you’re in the air, switch your legs so that your forward leg is now behind you and your back leg is now in front of you.
3.Side Shuffle– This one’s more like an agility drill, the Shuffle exercise is a lateral motion that warms up your glutes, hip flexors, quads, calves and hamstrings. And make sure to bend your knees, keep your head up and don’t cross over feet.
What Is Static Strecthing?
Static Strecthings are like the exact opposite of ‘dynamic stretching’ these invlove almost no ‘active movement’. Static stretches are those in which you stand, sit or lie still and hold a single position for period of time, up to about 45 seconds.
Static stretching improve your flexibility and range of motion, it can also help your muscles recover faster after a workout, leading to less pain and stiffness. Static stretching is also a great way to release stress and tension in your muscles, which can help you feel more relaxed
Here are a few Static Stretches:
1.Hamstring Stretch– This is probably a commnly heard stretching exersices. Hamstring stretches can increase flexibility and improve the range of motion in the hip. Both of these benefits will help people perform daily tasks, such as walking up stairs and bending over, with ease.
2.Abdominal Stretch– Stretching the core exercises and trains the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen to work in harmony. This leads to better balance, stability and prevents back pain.
3.Side Stretch-They lengthen the abdominal muscles, hips, and thigh muscles, while improving flexibility in the spine. Side bends also stretch the muscles between the ribs (the intercostal muscles). Which makes breathing easier in all situations, including aerobic activities.
These were only few exersices of each type mentioned, as they are the most common ones. Although there are several different ones also which can be done.
Stretching does have alot of benefits, It should be made as a habit to perform them before or after a workout to aviod muscle injuries, cramps or tears.
And Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints. Without it, the muscles shorten and become tight which in return messes with our body balance.
Firstly, Does practising yoga really help in losing your weight? Many experts agree that yoga works in different ways to bring about a healthy weight. So performing more active yoga poses does help in losing weight.
A 2016 study suggested that people who develop mindfulness through a yoga practice may be better able to resist unhealthy foods and comfort eating. Thereby being more aware of the foods we eat.
While yoga shouldn’t be practised as a workout or an aerobic exercise.Active, intense styles of yoga help you burn the most calories. This may help prevent weight gain. Ashtanga, vinyasa, and power yoga are examples of more physical types of yoga.
Practicing yoga also help you develop muscle tone and improve your metabolism. Also yoga can be performed before your actual workout as a warm-up.
How Often Should You Practice Yoga?
For beginners, You can start out by practising it for 2-3 times a week for atleast 30-45mins per session. Start slowly and gradually build up your practice. This allows you to build up your strength and flexibility and prevent un-necessary injuries.
Once you’ve goten used to the pace, You can start doing it for 4-5 times a week and an hour per session at least.
Best Yoga Asanas for Weight Loss
Also know as the ‘Sun Salutation‘. This isn’t one spefic asana but practiced in yoga as exercise incorporating a sequence of some twelve gracefully linked asanas.
Surya Namaskar is a salutation performed to the Sun offering gratitude and love for the life-giving energy that it provides.
The sun represents energy, power, and vitality. As the Surya Nadi or Sun Channel runs along the right side, you begin the Surya Namaskar with your right leg first. The Surya Namaskar or the Sun Salutation is best practiced early in the morning before sunrise.
2.Dhanurasana – Bow pose–
This is a bit hard for beginners, but this is one of the best wasy to lose fat. 3-4 cycles of this in your yoga session would be enough.
Dhanurasana helps massage the abdominal organs, improves digestion, and strengthens the thighs, chest and back. It stretches your whole body, strengthens and tones your muscles with improved blood circulation.
3.Sarvangasana – Shoulder stand–
This is not that hard for beginners although it might seem like that at the first.
The posture is commonly referred to as Shoulderstand because your body weight rests on the top outer edges (the bony parts) of your shoulders. Feel free to use a blanket or a soft padding near your neck to help avoid extra preasure on your neck.
Sarvangasana comes with multiple benefits, from increasing your strength, to improving digestion. But it is known for boosting metabolism, balancing thyroid levels, improves the respiratory system and improves sleep.
A plank pose engages multiple muscles at once, thereby benefiting the core strength of your body. Not just burning the fat around your abdomen area, they also work by giving you an improved posture, flexibility as well as a tighter abdomen
Practicing Plank Pose for several minutes builds endurance and stamina, while toning the nervous system. As part of the Sun Salutation sequence, it is often practiced many times during Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and Power Yoga classes.
Make a commitment to yourself and your practice if you want to use yoga to lose weight. Make small changes and set simple goals so that you’re more likely to stick to them.
And eventually as you practice for longer duration you become more self-aware, and naturally avoid junk foods as it becomes your new routine.
Having a healthy Immune system is essential to keep you safe from unwanted sickness or helping you fight infections like cold or flu. Luckily, there are many ways in which we can boost our Immunity naturally but, we have to stick to some of them and include in our daily lifestyle to have the best results.
Firstly, before we begin make sure to stop any of the following bad practices:
If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
Don’t overstress, Try to minimize stress.
Don’t take any drugs(unprescribed)
Don’t keep touching your face unnecessarily, especially when your outside.
Now let’s see in what ways can we can our boost Immunity.
Foods that help boost our Immunity:
1.Citrus fruits- Citrus fruits are packed with Vitamin C, they are thought to increase the production of white blood cells, which are key to fighting infections.
And since your body doesn’t produce it naturally you’re requried to take it on a daily basis. You can eat fruits rich in Vitamin C, rather than taking tablets. Fruits rich in Vitamin C are:
And, gooseberries or Also know as Amla, Amla is reported to contain nearly 20 times more vitamin C than oranges. While 100 gms of amla provide 600 mg of vitamin C, 100gms of oranges provide only 30 mg. The vitamin C of one tiny amla is equivalent to about two oranges.
2.Ginger- Ginger has anti bacterial and anti inflammatory properties, which help in keeping several ailments at bay and helps fighting infections.Due to its strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, ginger may boost immune health.
Upping your intake of antioxidant-rich foods and beverages like ginger shots may combat inflammation and keep your immune system healthy. Many test-tube and animal studies suggest that ginger can enhance immune response.
Ginger has been shown to have impressive antiviral activity thanks to its high concentration of potent plant compounds.
3.Turmeric– Curcumin, a component of turmeric, has been used as a food additive and herbal supplement due to its potential medicinal properties.
Previously, curcumin exhibited antiviral properties against several viruses, including dengue virus and hepatitis C virus, among others.
Although more reseach is need on this subject, Nevertheless turmeric helps the body naturally cleanse the respiratory tract, so it’s healthy and safe to comsume.
4.Green Tea + Honey– Now, both on their own posses qualities in successfuly fighting cold and flu. So both of them combined togeather is also very effective in boosting Immunity and Fighting cold and flu.
Because, By strengthening the immune system, green tea with honey helps fight against viruses that cause common cold and flu. The antioxidants present in them help build-up the defensive capabilities of the immune system. Another recipe you can use for managing your common cold is green tea with ginger and honey.
p.s (Honey is natural antibacterial and keeps you strong and healthy)
Now, few exercises to keep you fit, as the rise in body temperature during and right after exercise(moderate) may prevent bacteria from growing and Exercise slows down the release of stress hormones, which protects against illness.
Yoga For Immunity:
Yoga has been used for centuries in keeping the body functioning fit and fine.If practised properly, yoga can recharge your body, get rid of the toxins, negative energy and keep your vital organs functioning well.
Few Asansa You can Practice are,
Pranayama is basically series of exercises, which aims at bringing more oxygen to blood and to the brain.
Which alleviates stress hormone, smoothen the heart rate and any nervous distress, all of which benefit immunity
Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose, ‘legs up the wall’ pose forces you to invert and destress. It also boosts nerve connections, improves blood flow and vitalizes your body, which calms the whole body and reduces the stress hormones thereby, reduces the chances of diseases.
Virabhadrasana also known as Warrior Pose is a group of related lunging standing asanas in modern yoga as an exercise commemorating the exploits of a mythical warrior, Virabhadra.
Make sure to hold this pose for atleast for 20 seconds. Over time, increase your holding times to build endurance.
Benifits of this pose include:
Improves focus, balance and stability
Encourages good circulation and respiration
Stretches your arms, legs, shoulders, neck, belly, groins and ankles
Energizes the entire body.
So, stick to a few asanas per day and make sure to get really good at them, as they help improve overall wellbeing of a person.
Try combining some of the healthy foods and asanas mentioned above to maximize your immunity. especially, as staying healthy has become a hassel during the lockdown because of the global pandemic going on.
Let’s hope for this horrendous situation to go away very soon! And get back to our normal & happy life again.
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*Before performing this or any other slighty difficult asanas, please make sure to watch videos on how to perform them correctly, to minimize any chances of possible injuries.