Kids fitness

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Blog By: Aishwarya Ghumekar

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When most adults think about exercise, they imagine working out in the gym, running on a treadmill, or lifting weights.

But for kids, exercise means playing and being physically active. Kids exercise when they have gym class at school, during recess, at dance class or soccer practice, while riding bikes, or when playing tag.

The Many Benefits of Exercise

Everyone can benefit from regular exercise. Kids who are active will:

  • have stronger muscles and bones
  • have a leaner body because exercise helps control body fat
  • be less likely to become overweight
  • decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
  • lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels
  • have a better outlook on life

Besides enjoying the health benefits of regular exercise, kids who are physically fit sleep better. They’re also better able to handle physical and emotional challenges — from running to catch a bus to studying for a test.

The Three Elements of Fitness

If you’ve ever watched kids on a playground, you’ve seen the three elements of fitness in action when they:

  1. run away from the kid who’s “it” (endurance)
  2. cross the monkey bars (strength)
  3. bend down to tie their shoes (flexibility)

Parents should encourage their kids to do a variety of activities so that they can work on all three elements.

Endurance develops when kids regularly get aerobic activity. During aerobic exercise, the heart beats faster and a person breathes harder. When done regularly and for extended periods of time, aerobic activity strengthens the heart and improves the body’s ability to deliver oxygen to all its cells.

Aerobic exercise can be fun for both adults and kids. Examples of aerobic activities include:

  • basketball
  • bicycling
  • ice skating
  • inline skating
  • soccer
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • walking
  • jogging
  • running

Thus a healthy lifestyle will be definitely useful for kids.


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Why dieting makes losing weight harder?

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Blog By: Aishwarya Ghumekar

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The argument goes something like this for people who want to adhere to a diet plan:

“Healthy eating is great and all, but I really want to lose this weight as soon as possible. I’ll just do this ___(insert latest diet)___ plan for awhile until I get to my goal weight, then I’ll start with that whole healthy eating thing.”

It sounds like a great plan. Lose the weight quickly, then when you’re happy, shift to a more “sensible” eating plan for maintenance.

The only problem is that it doesn’t work.

Following are the reasons why dieting makes losing weight harder:

1. Dieting teaches your brain to ignore your body.

Dieting is restricted eating, plain and simple. To be successful at losing weight on a restricted eating plan, you need to train yourself to ignore feelings of hunger and desire. The problem is that dieters who do this also appear to lose awareness of when they are full, and have a tendency to massively overeat once the restriction has been lifted. Not being able to recognize hunger and full (aka satiety) signals is a serious problem if long-term weight regulation is your goal.

2. You rely more on environmental cues to decide what, when and how much to eat.

Without internal body signals to guide your eating habits, dieters rely almost exclusively on external cues for determining when, what and how much to eat. When you are successfully dieting this isn’t a problem, since you just follow the rules of the plan. Once you give up the diet though (and you inevitably will), you become subject to hundreds of cues from your surroundings telling you to eat more, and eat worse.

Thanks to advertisements, ballooned portion sizes, and lack of traditional eating culture and norms (believe it or not, it used to be faux pas to eat while standing or driving), we are constantly getting signals that we can and should eat more. These are tough for even a normal, non-dieter to resist (this is one of the reasons so many people are now overweight). But for a dieter who lacks the internal guidance the rest of us rely on, navigating this environment without overeating is nearly impossible.

3. Dieting drains your willpower.

When you are reliant on external cues instead of internal ones to dictate your eating, and especially when you’re trying to lose weight and resist those cues, every mental refusal you make drains a little of your willpower. Remember that willpower doesn’t have an on-and-off switch. Instead it works more like a muscle that, when overused, can become fatigued, no matter how strong it may start the day. Not only does this make you more likely to break your diet and overeat, but it also steals the willpower you need to be successful in other aspects of life.

4. Dieting promotes the what-the-hell effect.

Once you run out of willpower for the day, as a dieter you are likely to give in to the what-the-hell effect and go nuts on that bag of cookies, leaving the virtuous behavior for another day. These binges can undo days of restricted eating. They can also be habit forming.

5. Dieting encourages nutritionism.

Dieting in the 21st century is rarely just about eating less. Most weight loss plans nowadays emphasize restricting certain types of nutrients — sugar, carbs, gluten, fat, etc. — over others. Dieters love to bin foods into either “good guys” or “bad guys,” and forget that too much of either is a problem.

6. Dieting slows your metabolism.

Rapid weight loss slows your metabolism, since it is very difficult to lose fat quickly without losing a substantial amount of (metabolically active) muscle as well. The subsequent overeating that most dieters experience then encourages more fat than muscle to be added back. Eating like a foodist takes the opposite approach, encouraging behaviors that increase instead of reduce metabolism. Slow but steady weight loss is then a happy consequence of these metabolic improvements, so you are working with your body instead of against it.


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Why is working out indoors better

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Blog By: Aishwarya Ghumekar

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For every athlete who waxes poetic about exercising outside, there’s a dedicated indoor athlete who knows the truth: indoors trumps outdoors.

Why is indoors better:

Indoors doesn’t honk.

Indoors doesn’t rain.

Indoors protects from bugs.

Indoors means no bug spray, no sunscreen and no silly hats.

Indoors removes distractions.

Indoors offers focal points.

Indoors, daydreaming is encouraged.

Indoors, binge-watching is acceptable.

Indoors, your reflection corrects your form.

Indoors keeps water nearby.

Indoors is never dark.

and lastly Indoors is steady terrain.


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Antioxidants

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Blog By: Aishwarya Ghumekar

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Antioxidants the word which we hear most of times and yes lay man has the idea about it that it is required by the body to fight illness.Let’s look what it is in brief.

What exactly are antioxidants and why do we need them? Antioxidants are nature’s way of fighting off potentially dangerous molecules in the body. Such molecules come in the form of synthetic chemicals such as pesticides, plastics, and chlorine byproducts and are called free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that essentially feed off of otherwise healthy molecules in order to survive. Every day tens of thousands of free radicals are generated within the body, causing cell damage that can lead to chronic and degenerative diseases if left unchecked.

Fruits and vegetables provide the body with an added source of antioxidants that is needed to properly wage war against free radicals. Without the necessary intake of healthy fruits and vegetables, free radicals can spread and eventually lead to stroke, heart attack, arthritis, vision problems, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and various types of cancer.
It’s possible to have too much of a good thing, especially if you frequently take supplements. If you have too many antioxidants, you suppress your body’s own ability to turn on its antioxidant defense system. Luckily, it’s difficult to get too much from your diet, which is why most experts recommend sticking to natural sources.

It is important that when you are purchasing fruits and vegetables for yourself and your family that you shop in the organic section. The produce available in most stores no longer contains the level of nutrients that it did 100 years ago. Because of pesticides and the diminished mineral levels in soils used today, eating non-organic produce will not provide you with the antioxidants (or vitamins and minerals) that your body needs. On average, organic produce contains nearly 30% more nutrients than non-organic and is grown without using harsh chemicals that can lead to further free radical exposure. Autumn is a great time to start a new healthy habit that your family will love, and eating 5 to 9 servings a day of scrumptious organic fruits and vegetables really can keep the doctor away.


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Mental health problems

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Blog By: Aishwarya Ghumekar

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“Why do we fall? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.” -Alfred to Bruce Wayne, Batman Begins

Feeling down, angry, stressed or anxious are all normal human emotions. We all feel sad when a loved one unexpectedly dies, when we miss out on that promotion, or after watching that episode of Game of Thrones.

 

Being sad (or anxious, nervous, panicked, angry, confused, distressed, etc.) happens to all of us from time to time (who doesn’t love a good rage-quit?). But it’s when these feelings persist for long periods of time (more than a few weeks) they may be part of a mental health problem.

Mental health problems can influence how you think and your ability to function in your everyday activities. Here are some general signs you can look for:

  • Not enjoying, or not wanting to be involved in things that you would normally enjoy
  • Becoming easily irritated or having problems with friends and family for no reason
  • Feeling sad, ‘down’, or crying for no apparent reason
  • Consistently having trouble concentrating or remembering things
  • Feeling too nervous and stressed, a lot of the time, or for no good reason
  • Having intrusive negative, distressing or unusual thoughts

Two of the most common mental health issues are:

  • Anxiety disorders – Super common (affects around 18% of the U.S. population) and also super treatable (usually without any medication), but only a third of those suffering seek help.
  • Depression – Not as common as anxiety (affecting around 5%), but also treatable, and comes in many forms. For example, many women experience post-natal depression, experiencing full-blown feelings of extreme sadness after giving birth, making it difficult for these new mothers to complete daily care activities for themselves and/or for their babies. Depression is very serious  and left ignored or untreated it can have a severe impact on someone’s health, and even put their life at risk. But, those who do seek treatment often see improvements in symptoms in just a few weeks.

The exact cause of mental health problems is not known, but it is becoming clear through research that many of these conditions are caused by a combination of factors, not one single issue.

A number of factors may increase someone’s risk of developing a mental health problem:

  • early life experiences (trauma, loss of a loved one)
  • biological makeup (a family history of mental health problems)
  • individual factors (self-esteem levels, coping skills)
  • current life circumstances (work stress, relationship issues, poor nutrition, money problems)
  • If treated properly considering the above factors these problems could be eradicated.

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Bare Foot Running

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Blog By: Aishwarya Ghumekar

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If you enjoy running, chances are good you’ve seen a fellow runner at a race or out on the road recently with a pair of sock-style minimalist running shoes — or running without any shoes at all. This trend, which was popularized by journalist Chistopher McDougall in his best-selling book Born to Run, is inspiring more and more runners to return to the roots of the sport and go barefoot.

Pros of barefoot running:

  • It can strengthen feet and reduce injuries. The benefits from this style are low impact on the heel, thus translating to less loading pressure on the weight-bearing limbs. Shorter strides minimize heel striking, and higher cadence allows for speed during the shorter stride. You also have better energy-efficiency, as the body is under less shock from impact, as well as the use of core strength for better body mechanics.
  • It makes your feet feel great on the right surfaces.Running barefoot on grass feels great and gives runners a fast, natural way to run on their forefoot
  • A variety of good shoes are available. The wide variety of barefoot running shoes now available means that you can get the experience in a way that better protects your feet from the elements — and in a style that works well for you.
  • It’s a nice change of pace while training. When used as a small supplement to training, short periods of barefoot running are a great way for most runners to strengthen their feet and improve their stride.

Cons of barefoot running:

  • You risk injury if you transition too quickly. Adjusting to barefoot or minimal running must be done very slowly.Injury is likely from the change in footwear and running style.
  • The shoes can cause blisters. The new barefoot running shoes may look cool, but some minimal shoes can cause problems with blisters as runners break them in, Mayer says.
  • The shoes are pricey. These specialty shoes will cost you more than the average running shoe. A pair of Vibrams costs about $90 and other brands are around the same price point.

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Reasons to adopt Yoga for better

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Blog By: Sonali Shukla

 

“Swami Vivekananda proclaimed
‘Each soul is potentially Divine. The goal is to manifest this Divinity within, by controlling Nature-external and internal. Do it either by work or worship, psychic control or philosophy; by one or more, or all of these and be free’.

The word Yoga in literal terms means “Union” and “union with the divine”. Though this word today signifies athletic people curling up their bodies into jaw dropping positions, the word roots to the sense of spirituality and self-realization while physically relaxing your body.

While yoga does involve stretching and relaxing, it has much more to offer than that. People of all sort, irrespective of their ages, shapes and size can adapt to Yoga and can reap its benefits.

So the idea that yoga may not be for us, needs reconsideration. Listed below are the reasons why one should begin doing yoga right away:

 

  • No gym, Yoga is your workout

Yoga has exercises and routines suited to each person’s comfort level and body type. No matter which form you do, it would always provide you benefits of a workout.

 

  • You connect with your body

The stretching and exercises which yoga routines include is aimed at improving strength and stamina of a person. Therefore, while you’re taking your body from one position to another, you get in tune with your body, knowing when something is working out and when it isn’t.

 

  • For that goodnight’s rest

Before your head hits the hay, a sequence of yoga movements can provide you that sound sleep you’ve been longing for. Also, many yoga routines involve a cool down session at the end, which helps introspect pain areas and alleviate pain in the process, resulting into a good sleep.

 

  • To keep up with physical and mental strength

It is an absolute no brainer that yoga helps build mental and physical strength. Since yoga is a combo of mental and physical investment, the breathing exercises strengthen your lungs and lunges while the meditation helps you connect to the moment, improving your focus and concentration level.

 

  • Improve your posture:

You may start of as slouchy and stoopy but over the time with yoga postures that require you to sit straight with your back erect, your back will be sculpt to a fine state, which will make you walk taller, increasing your personality and self-confidence.

 

 

Yoga will not provide you temporary relief but will improve your life for better. Yoga gives you a deeper perspective and allows you to process everything that happens, thereby improving situations.

Therefore, adopt yoga for better and lead a peaceful life.


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Yogasanas which help you lose weight

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Blog By: Aishwarya Ghumekar

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Following are yogasanas which help you lose weight:

1.Ardha Chandraasana or the half moon pose

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Benefits: This pose is great to tone your buttocks, upper and inner thighs.  The added stretch on the sides of your tummy, help burn off those unsightly love handles and strengthen your core, helps with weight loss.

Avoid this pose if you have digestive disorders, a spine injury or high blood pressure,  avoid doing this pose.

Steps 

  • Stand with your feet together.
  • Raise your hands above your head and clasp your palms together, extend the stretch by trying to reach for the ceiling.
  • Exhale, and slowly bend sideways from your hips, keeping your hands together. Remember not to bend forward and keep your elbows straight. You should feel a stretch from your fingertips to your thighs.
  • Inhale and come back to the standing position. Repeat this pose on the other side.

2. Veerbhadrasana 1 or warrior pose

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Benefits: This aasana stretches your back, strengthens your thighs, buttock and tummy and helps you lose weight.

Avoid this pose if  you have high blood pressure, shoulder, knee or back trouble, please perform this pose under the guidance of a trained teacher.

Steps

  • Stand with your feet together and hands by your side.
  • Now extend your right leg forward and keep your left leg extended backwards.
  • Gently bend your right knee so that you get into the lunge position.
  • Twist your torso to face your bent right leg.
  • Slightly turn your left foot sideways (about 400-600)  to give you that extra support.
  • Exhale, straighten your arms and raise your body up and away from your bent knee.
  • Stretch your arms upwards and slowly tilt your torso backwards so your back forms and arch.
  • To get out of this pose exhale and straighten your right knee. Now push off your right leg and come back to your original position. You can use your hands to support you. Do not rush out of this pose; you might injure your back or legs. Repeat this aasana for the other leg as well.

3. Utkatasana or the chair pose

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Benefits: It strengthens the core muscles, thighs and tones the buttocks.

Avoid this pose if you have a knee or back injury.

Steps

  • Stand straight on your yoga mat with your hands in namaste in front of you.
  • Now raise your hands above your head and bend at the knee such that your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Bend your torso slightly forward and breathe.
  • Stay in this position for as long as you can. Gently go back to the standing position.

4.Uttanasana or forward bending pose

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Benefits: This aasana stretches the hamstrings and puts pressure on the muscles of the abdomen. It also makes the blood rush to your head, helping your body switch from the sympathetic to the parasympathetic nervous system, helping you relax.

Steps

  • To perform this pose, stand straight.
  • Raise your hands from the front to above your head as you inhale slowly.
  • Then bend forward completely pushing your buttocks back till your palms touch the floor and your forehead touches your knees. Come up slowly to the standing position.

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International Yoga day

 

Blog By: Aishwarya Ghumekar

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Yoga has become the eternal part of fitness in Indian culture and now has extended it’s  roots to foreign land as well.

On December 11 in 2014, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 21st as the International Day of Yoga. The declaration came after the call for the adoption of June 21st as International Day of Yoga by Hon’ble Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi during his address to UN General Assembly on September 27, 2014 wherein he stated: “Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition . It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. ” In Suggesting June 21, which is the Summer Solstice, as the International Day of Yoga, Mr. Narendra Modi had said that, “the date is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and has special significance in many parts of the world. ”

Yoga is the most favorable method to connect to the nature by balancing the mind-body connection. It is a type of exercise which performed through the balanced body and need to get control over diet, breathing, and physical postures. It is associated with the meditation of body and mind through the relaxation of body. It is very useful to control over mind and body as well as getting proper health of body and mind by reducing the stress and anxiety.

Yoga can be practiced by anyone as an exercise on daily basis to fulfill the need of very active and demanding life especially teenagers and adults. It helps in coping with the hard times of the life and pressure of school, friends, family and neighbors. Through yoga practice one can disappear his/her problems and stress given by others. It helps in easily accomplishing the connection between body, mind and nature.

So on this “International yoga day” let’s take the privelige to extend and grow this culture in masses.


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