Reason why you should spend more time with nature

Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi

I work outside. As I type away at my laptop I’m surrounded by flowers and palm trees. In addition, the ocean is about 30 meters away from my work area. Sometimes I’ll get bitten by mosquitoes; or a couple of bees will decide that harassing me is their mission for the day; or a bird will poop on me (this last one happens more often than you’d think).

However, for the most part, I love being outside. I can hear the birds chirping; as I look out toward the ocean I can see the sun reflected on the water’s surface; at times there’s a gentle breeze blowing; and, every so often, a turquoise hummingbird whizzes by. Fortunately for me, it turns out that being outdoors and spending time in nature is good for you. Below you’ll discover 8 reasons why you, too, should spend more time in nature.

1. Vegetation-Rich Nature.

Improves Your Vitality. In the book “Your Brain On Nature: The Science of Nature’s Influence on Your Health, Happiness and Vitality”, Eva M. Selhub, MD and Alan C. Logan, ND explain that scientific studies show that natural environments can have remarkable benefits for human health.

Among these benefits, Selhub and Logan explain that studies show that spending just 20 minutes in vegetation-rich nature improves vitality. They define vitality as emotional strength in the face of internal and external oppositions, and living life with enthusiasm. So, if you want to be more resilient and have more zest in your life, go outside.

2. If You Live Near Green Space.

You’re Less Likely to Be Depressed. A 2009 study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found that people who lived within 1 kilometer of a park or a wooded area experienced less anxiety and depression than those who lived farther away from green space.

This means that city planners can potentially use green space as a way to improve overall mental wellness. In addition, if you’re feeling depressed, you should consider moving closer to nature.

3. Sunlight is Beneficial.

When sunlight hits the skin, it begins a process that leads to the creation and activation of vitamin D. Studies suggest that this vitamin helps to prevent osteoporosis and cancer. In addition, one study found an increased risk of heart attacks in those with low vitamin D levels.

The amount of sunlight that you need depends on your skin tone. Light skinned individuals need about 10 minutes of sunlight a day, while darker skinned individuals may need from fifteen to twenty minutes of sunlight.

4. Taking a Break in Nature.

Improves Memory and Cognitive Function. Taking in the sights and sounds of nature is beneficial for our brains. Research done by Doctor Marc Berman and partners at the University of Michigan shows that performance on memory and attention tests improved by 20% after study subjects took a pause for a walk through an arboretum. When they paused to take a walk down a busy street, no cognitive boost was detected.

Best exercise for Asthma patients

Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi

Exercise is a common trigger for asthma symptoms. Many people with asthma may experience coughing, wheezing, or chest tightness during or after exercising. However, most people with asthma can successfully participate in their exercise of choice with proper guidance.

“If your asthma is under good control, you can and should exercise normally. Exercising (when you have) asthma can help reduce your symptoms, improve your breathing, and reduce your stress and anxiety,” says Rachel Taliercio, DO, a lung and allergy specialist at the Cleveland Clinic.

Exercising safely

Having asthma means your lungs are more sensitive to things like cold or hot temperatures, dry air, allergens, and pollution. When you’re not exercising, you probably breathe through your nose. Breathing through your nose moistens, warms, and filters the air you breathe before it gets into your lungs. But while working out, you probably breathe through your mouth. That can be tough on your lungs and can trigger asthma symptoms.

It is better to pick an exercise that is not too difficult for you because trying an exercise that you are not in shape for may also trigger asthma symptoms. Try to do the exercise you have chosen four or five days a week. Don’t push yourself if your asthma starts to flare.

Swimming:
Swimming is one of the best exercises for asthma because it builds up the muscles you use for breathing. It also exposes your lungs to lots of warm, moist air, which is less likely to trigger asthma symptoms. A comprehensive medical review (Cochrane Review) of eight studies of children and adolescents from 2013 showed that swimming increases lung function and cardiopulmonary fitness, without any serious side effects in patients with stable asthma.

Yoga:
Yoga is another good exercise for asthma. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that yoga training over 10 weeks significantly improved quality of life scores for women with mild to moderate asthma. “A low intensity beginner yoga class is a great way to start up your exercise program,” says Taliercio.

Other potential physical activities for people with asthma include

  • Walking.
  • Biking.
  • Hiking.
  • Golf.
  • Gymnastics.

Here are some good tips for exercising with asthma:

  • Warm up first.
  • Try to breathe through your nose as much as possible.
  • If you are exercising in cold weather, wear a scarf or mask over your nose and mouth.
  • If you have pollen allergies, avoid outdoor exercise when pollen counts are high.
  • Avoid exercising outdoors if air pollution is high.
  • Do not exercise when you are sick or not feeling well.
  • Include a cool-down routine after exercise.
  • Know your exercise limit, and don’t push yourself too hard.
  • Always carry your inhaler, just in case you need it.

Best exercise for older adults

Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi.

So, you’re 55, or maybe 65, 75, or even 85. You already know all the benefits of exercise, and you’ve tried — you have really tried — to be active. You take a daily walk once a week when it’s not raining, but you know that’s not really enough. Friends, relatives, and your doctor — they all say, “Get some exercise!”

So, a little while back, you tried a class. You tried several. Different instructors even. But there is one small problem: You hate it! A lot of exercise classes are far from ideal for older adults (even when they’re supposedly for older adults!).

What to do? Chances are, you’ve stopped going…or you will soon. You may not be able to say why you hate that class, but it’s likely that when you read through this list, you’ll see yourself at least once!

Reason #1: Exercise will extend years of active independent life

In health research, doctors attempt to quantify a quality-of-life measurement for an average individual.1

Through discussions with many patients of all ages, they rate on a scale of one-to-ten a person’s physical and mental well-being.

Using such a scale in an Oklahoma study, healthy older adults who participated regularly in moderate physical activity for at least an hour per week had a higher quality-of-life measurement than those who did not exercise.2

The exercisers felt that they led an independent lifestyle.

Take note: one hour per week! That’s not much commitment.

Reason #2: Exercise does not have to be hard, fast, and pounding to reap rewards

“No pain, no gain” is a myth! Don’t believe it! Today’s research is unequivocal: exercise is surprisingly efficient, even building muscle, and even moderate exercise does make a difference,. One study assessed two groups of older adults: one group participated in a low-intensity exercise program; the other group did only relaxation exercises. On all assessments, both physical and mental, the exercise group did better than the relaxation group.3

If you are concerned about the risks of starting exercise, you can begin at low intensity and gradually increase your skill level. Most studies suggest that classes for older adults should emphasize moderate-intensity aerobics, muscle-strengthening, balance, and flexibility, as well as instruction on how to avoid injury.45

Reason #3: You must use it or you will lose it

Sedentariness is unhealthy. If we aren’t active, we lose muscle strength — a minuscule amount each day. Stronger muscles mean we can lengthen independent living considerably. Simple free-weight exercises can improve the odds against muscle loss.

Researchers decided to measure just the hand-grip strength of women over 60. Some women were exercising; some were not. They discovered that non-exercising women lost grip strength at the rate of nearly 3% per year. But physically active women lost much less.6

If hand-grip strength can be improved and/or maintained by simply exercising, you can easily apply this principle to all the muscles. My husband’s grandmother decided, in her late 80’s, that she did not want to walk any more. Within weeks she was bedridden. If we do not use our muscles, they will weaken. It is inevitable.

Reason #4: Exercise may prevent a bad fall

Older adults fear falling. If they break a bone, they may be disabled, in pain, or both, for months. A fall means loss of independence.

More than 20% of participants in a recent study of older adults said they had fallen twice or more in the previous year. About one-third said it was likely they would fall during the upcoming year, yet most believed there wasn’t any way that they could prevent a fall. None of them had even heard of balance training!

Attempting to educate older adults to the advantages of physical activity in preventing falls, researchers explained to the participants of a study that the purpose of balance training was to do “physical activities every day to build up the strength in legs and body and improve balance.” Lead author of the research, Lucy Yardley, Ph.D., concluded this: “Few older people are aware of strength and balance training, or [know] that balance can be improved.”7

The ability to get up from a chair and sit down without assistance requires lower body strength, balance and coordination. Something as simple as a daily chair-stand exercise can improve balance.

Exercise Tips for People With Type 2 Diabetes

Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi

Exercise is safe—and highly recommended—for most people with type 2 diabetes, including those with complications. Along with diet and medication, exercise will help you lower blood sugar and lose weight.

However, the prospect of diving into a workout routine may be intimidating. If you’re like many newly diagnosed type 2 diabetics, you may not have exercised in years.

If that’s the case, don’t worry: It’s fine to start slow and work up. These tips will help you ease back into exercise and find a workout plan that works for you.

Try quick workouts
As long as you’re totaling 30 minutes of exercise each day, several brief workouts are fine, says George Griffing, MD, professor of endocrinology at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

“We need people with diabetes up and moving,” Dr. Griffing says. “If you can do your exercise in one 30 minute stretch, fine. But if not, break it up into increments you can manage that add up to at least 30 minutes each day.”

Focus on overall activity
Increase activity in general—such as walking or climbing stairs—rather than a particular type of exercise.

However, don’t rely on housework or other daily activity as your sole exercise. Too often, people overestimate the amount of exercise they get and underestimate the amount of calories they consume.

Get a pedometer
Stanford University researchers conducted a review of 26 studies looking at the use of pedometers as motivation for physical activity. Published in 2007, the review found that people who used a pedometer increased their activity by 27%.

Having a goal of 10,000 steps a day (about five miles) was important, even if the goal wasn’t reached. Pedometer users lost more weight, had a greater drop in blood pressure, and walked about 2,500 steps more per day than those who didn’t use a pedometer.

How Exercise Lowers Blood Sugar in Type 2 Diabetes

Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi

You may consider exercise a nuisance, a chore, or simply a bore. But if you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you need to look at physical activity in a whole new light. Now it’s a tool. Just like taking a drug or altering your diet, exercise can lower blood sugar on its own, even if you don’t lose weight.

“Exercising is the most underused treatment and it’s so, so powerful,” said Sharon Movsas, RD, a diabetes nutrition specialist at the Clinical Diabetes Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

For most people with diabetes, exercise is a safe and highly recommended way to reduce the risk of complications. However, check with your doctor to make sure you don’t have heart problems, nerve damage, or other issues that need special consideration when you are working out.

How exercise affects blood sugar

When you exercise, your muscles become more sensitive to insulin and absorb more glucose from the blood. However, like many aspects of type 2 diabetes, the response can be highly personal. Exercise can sometimes boost blood sugar. At first, you’ll need to test your blood sugar before, after, and sometimes during exercise, to see how your body responds).

Exercise also helps lower blood pressure—an important benefit since high blood pressure can contribute to heart attacks, strokes, eye problems, kidney failure, and other type 2 diabetes complications.

Start slow and work up
Even if you know exercise is good for you, it doesn’t make it easy. Luckily, studies have shed light on the most successful exercise strategies for type 2 diabetes. Using a pedometer and aiming for 10,000 steps per day is one tried-and-true approach, although you need to determine what works best for you.

Overall, the goal is 30 minutes of aerobic activity at least five days a week. But it may take some time to get there, particularly if you’ve never been a big fan of exercise. In those cases, medication and diet are the preferred first step to get blood sugar down. Then you can start out with short (five-to 10-minute) walks before increasing your physical activity.

At first, physical activity may not feel good, particularly if you are obese, says Virginia Valentine, a certified diabetes educator who also has type 2 diabetes. If you are obese or have another condition that impairs your mobility (such as arthritis), you may even need a specialized exercise program.

Check with local hospitals to see if they have programs for the mobility-impaired, which may include chair exercises, yoga for seniors, Aquacise, or the use of recumbent stationary bikes.

However you exercise, you may be able to reduce your need for blood-sugar-lowering drugs if you stick with it.

Best and Healthy breakfast

Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi

The next time you rush out the door in the morning without something to eat, consider this: Skipping breakfast can set you up for overeating later in the day. A healthy a.m. meal, on the other hand, can give you energy, satisfy your appetite, and set the stage for smart decisions all day long.

Luckily, your options are plenty. Here’s a look at some of our favorite breakfast foods, along with expert tips for making them even healthier.

Oatmeal
You may have noticed a heart-shaped seal on your box of oatmeal recently. The seal’s there because oats contain beta-glucan, a type of fiber that’s been shown to help lower cholesterol when eaten regularly. Need another reason to dig in? Oats are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium.

Greek yogurt
This tangy, creamy yogurt is loaded with calcium and boasts plenty of protein—nearly twice as much as regular yogurt—to keep you feeling full throughout the morning. Your best bet: Choose a plain, nonfat variety, and add some fruit to give it some sweetness and flavor (and a dose of added nutrition).

Wheat germ
A little wheat germ goes a long way. Just two tablespoons provides about 15% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin E and 10% of your daily folate. It’s easy to incorporate wheat germ into almost any meal, including your go-to breakfasts: Sprinkle it over cereal, stir it into yogurt, or mix it into a smoothie.

Grapefruit
Trying to lose weight? According to one study, eating half a grapefruit before each meal may help you slim down faster, thanks to the fruit’s fat-burning properties and its beneficial effect on blood sugar and insulin levels. Grapefruit is also hydrating, filling, and packed with immunity-boosting antioxidants.

Bananas
There’s nothing like a banana at breakfast to keep those mid-morning cravings at bay. The yellow fruit—especially when they’re still a touch green—are one of the best sources of resistant starch, a healthy carbohydrate that keeps you feeling fuller longer.

5 cool fitness gadget for health.

Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi

We love gadgets of every kind, be it appliances for the kitchen or electronic ones for hiking or camping trips. We have even featured wearable gadgets for you, and a few cool ones designed for your pets, just to cover everyone in the family.

While the idea of using your smartphone and health apps to monitor your workouts and vital signs are not new, did you know that there are gadgets that can work together with your smartphones to help you stay fit and healthy? In fact, we’re here to introduce about 10 of these gadgets, this time for the calorie counters and gym-goers.
These gadgets may be able to help you make the best of your workout sessions, track your health progress and have fun at the same time. All that aside, they are all built for a mind focused on health and fitness, which is top priority to come out the winner in a dog-eat-dog world.

Finis Neptune
In almost every sport, music can be a rather powerful motivation to run or cycle that extra mile but never to swim that extra lap, until now. Like Sportiiiis, the Finis Neptune is secured onto the user’s eyewear, in this case, swimming goggles. This device uses bone conduction audio to relay music to the user’s ears, without the need for ear buds.
The device also makes music louder and clearer when submerged underwater. It also comes with a built-in 4GB of storage space, a rechargeable battery that lasts 8 hours and an OLED screen with music controls.

Misfit Shine
It’s a bracelet, a pendant, and can also fit in your pocket. The Misfit Shine is an activity tracker that lets you track your movements and activities to help you achieve goals set on your iOS device. Due to its design you can strap it on an arm and dive in for a lap with no worries – it is waterproof!
Check in on your progress by just tapping the LED-lit face. It also doubles as a watch and works on coin batteries which can last for months at a time.

Sportiiiis
Into cycling? Checking on your stats while you cycle is not only a hassle but may also be dangeruos. Track your heart rate safely and accurately with Sportiiiis. The simple Head-Up Display (HUD) has 6 LED to indicate your heart rate. Cyclists can mount it on their sunglasses and receive their stats via voice prompts which relay your speed, heart rate, cadence and power.
Its company does sell its own line of monitors that work together with, Sportiiiis but it is also compatible with products from other manufacturers.

iSpO2 Pulse Oximeter
This device plugs into older iOS devices using the 30-pin connector to track and trend your blood oxygenation levels, pulse rate and Perfusion Index, particularly if you are a sportsperson. The product is not intended for medical use and is more for sports and aviation tracking.
This means that this is a great and portable tool for sports players and sports teams that travel to play. The data from the device can be exported and kept in the athlete’s history for their reference or their coach’s.

HAPIfork
Can’t really manage your portions by sheer willpower? HAPIfork is a gadget that can help you reduce your eating pace. The sensors notify you through tiny vibrations when you’re ‘speeding’. It can also track your eating duration, the amount and intervals of ‘fork servings’ per minute.
All your data can be tracked with the accompanying app and transferred with a mini USB. The ‘brain’ of the HAPIfork is hidden in the body but can be removed for safe washing.

Listening to music while working out in Gym.

Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi

Listening to music when you hit the gym to improve your workout isn’t exactly a new concept. But understanding how your favorite tunes enhance your exercise is a little less obvious.

And a recent study found that not just listening, but controlling and creating music in time to one’s pace had an even more profound effect on perceived effort during a workout.

Here are good reasons to rock out during your next gym session.

1. Music is the good kind of distraction.

While the study did suggest there’s more to it than distraction, working out with music did make participants less aware of their exertion. Such a distraction can benefit athletic performance by up to 15 percent, The Guardian reported. The faster the better, according to WebMD: Upbeat tunes have more information for our brains to process, which takes your mind off of that side stitch.

2. It ups your effort.

A 2010 study found that cyclists actually worked harder when listening to faster music as compared to music at a slower tempo. But too fast is no good, either. Songs between 120 and 140 beats per minute (bpm) have the maximum effect on moderate exercisers.

3. Music puts you “in the zone”.

Everyone has that go-to song that gets you “in the zone,” and there’s science to why it works. We associate certain songs with memories, often relating to the context in which we originally heard them, such as the first time you watched Rocky. Channeling that memory — or even just the emotion of the singer — boosts the motivational power of the song, and has been shown to improve physical performance.

4. A good beat can help you keep pace.

The rhythm of your workout music stimulates the motor area of the brain as to when to move, thereby aiding self-paced exercises such as running or weight-lifting. Clueing into these time signals helps us use our energy more efficiently, since keeping a steady pace is easier on our bodies than fluctuating throughout a sweat session.

5. Music can elevate your mood.

An August 2013 analysis found that people often listen to music as a way to change their mood and find self-awareness. Study participants said that listening to music allowed them to think about themselves, who they wanted to be and give them an escape from the present. No matter what happened an hour ago, you can use your tunes to help you escape negativity and power you through your workout — and you know you’ll feel great when it’s over.

6. It makes you want to move.

You really can’t stop the beat! Researchers found that when music possesses “high-groove” qualities, the brain gets excited and induces movement in the listener. Basically, your playlist has the ability to make you move — no matter how much you’re dreading that workout.

 

Do’s and Dont’s of Making Fitness video

Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi

If you’ve got a video camera on your smart phone or laptop, that’s all you need to get started with filming yourself. Practice is the best way to learn how to make excellent videos, but there are some tips below that can save you frustration that I went through in the past few years.

Having videos to showcase what you do as a fitness trainer is a great resume piece and can attract new business (if you look good on film). I’m not talking about having a 6-pack or pretty face. What makes a good fitness video may not be what you think…

Whether you’re making freebies for your clients or have larger ambitions, here are some tips I learned from my video editor this year.

DO:
1) Do tape yourself horizontally and slightly off center to stay compatible with YouTube and Vimeo.

2) Do turn off all extraneous noises, especially if you’re not using a microphone. Even the back up drive running for your computer can be heard in the background of a video and be a turn off.

3) Do make sure you’re excited and energetic when you’re about to film, it shows and it’s sometimes more important than the content.

4) Do create a YouTube or Vimeo “channel” to collect all of the videos you make in one spot. Watch their free tutorials to learn how.

DON’T:
1) Don’t over-complicate the videos with digital graphics. Focus on your ability to teach a camera. Hire an editor and add fancy graphics when you’re making the big bucks.

2) Don’t use the first take you film. Keep practicing, but on that note have a limit. You won’t be perfect all the time and the audience likes to see that you’re not (perfect).

3) Don’t have too much in the background. Find a clean wall or area to film. Keep it simple, less is more.

4) Don’t use copyrighted music. YouTube and Vimeo will take the video down if they find out.