Meditation

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Blog By: Aishwarya Ghumekar

The earliest records of meditation date back to 50,000 years ago. The practice originally developed as a ritual involved in a number of different religions. In fact, almost every major religion utilizes meditation in one form or another, from Hinduism to Christianity. Throughout time, however, the practice has found a place outside of the realm of religion. This is most likely because people became aware of the vast array of benefits that meditation can provide a person even when it is void of any religious implications.

Although Meditation and Yoga are very closely related, Meditation as a formal and separate practice did not arise until much later, a little more than 5,000 years ago (actual recorded writings about Meditation). Granted, people have likely been practicing some form of meditation since the beginning of their existence. Any time that you take some time out to gather your thought or get some fresh air to clear your mind, you are technically using meditation to relax and focus your mind.

Terms and Concepts of Meditation

The following terms are often used to describe meditation. From their original eastern roots, they each have special significance in the practice of meditation.

  • Karma
  • Swadharma
  • Dharma
  • Manah
  • Buddhi
  • Samskara
  • Vasana
  • Kriya
  • Viveka
  • Vairagya
  • Sannyasa

Benefits of Meditation

There are many benefits, both physical and mental, that are often associated with meditation. Many people use meditation as a sole way to exercise and enrich their minds while others prefer to think of it as a way to supplement other activities. No matter how you approach meditation, the following benefits (only a sample of many) are well documented:

  • Headaches: Meditation has often been shown to reduce or eliminate the pain associated with headaches and (sometimes) migraines. The long periods of inactivity may eliminate the pain or at least give you an extended break from it.
  • Weight Loss: People that are trying to lose weight may find meditation particularly helpful. Several studies successfully showed that meditation was very effective in both the control of ideal weight levels and the revamping of lost motivation or focus.
  • Increased Lung Function: The deep and soothing breaths associated with meditation are often successful in the improvement of air flow and increasing of lung capacity. A recent wind musician’s survey showed that meditation was able to increase lung capacity by 5% in only two weeks of regular practice.
  • Improvement of Memory: By relaxing the brain, meditation has often been shown to increase memory in the participant. In fact, early tests have been promising in the use of meditation along with prescription drugs for the reduction or delay of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Problem Solving: Meditation is often helpful in dealing with a minor problem or resolving an issue without turning to more drastic measures that are unnecessary. This opportunity to truly think through situations may save even more stress or additional problems.

 

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Vegan diet reduces your risk of Diabetes

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Blog By: Aishwarya Ghumekar

 

Consuming a plant-based diet–especially one rich in high-quality plant foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes–is linked with substantially lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

“This study highlights that even moderate dietary changes in the direction of a healthful plant-based diet can play a significant role in the prevention of type 2 diabetes,” said Ambika Satija, postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Nutrition, lead author of the study. “These findings provide further evidence to support current dietary recommendations for chronic disease prevention.”

While previous studies have found links between vegetarian diets and improved health outcomes, including reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, this new study is the first to make distinctions between healthy plant-based diets and less healthy ones that include things like sweetened foods and beverages, which may be detrimental for health. The study also considered the effect of including some animal foods in the diet.

The researchers followed more than 200,000 male and female health professionals across the U.S. for more than 20 years who had regularly filled out questionnaires on their diet, lifestyle, medical history, and new disease diagnoses as part of three large long-term studies. The researchers evaluated participants’ diets using a plant-based diet index in which they assigned plant-derived foods higher scores and animal-derived foods lower scores.

The study found that high adherence to a plant-based diet that was low in animal foods was associated with a 20% reduced risk of type 2 diabetes compared with low adherence to such a diet. Eating a healthy version of a plant-based diet was linked with a 34% lower diabetes risk, while a less healthy version–including foods such as refined grains, potatoes, and sugar-sweetened beverages–was linked with a 16% increased risk.


 

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Can Laughter yoga get you toned for summer?


Suryakant

Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi.

With summer fast approaching, thoughts are turning to getting toned for poolside posing.

If the thought of pounding the treadmill or planking for hours on end leaves you filled with fear, a new workout that promises to tone your body and cheer you up at the same time could be just the ticket.

Laughter yoga is the work-out of choice for fitness insiders who want to get in shape and have a giggle with their friends at the same time.

So what’s it all about? Laughter Yoga is based on the principle that your body doesn’t know the difference between fake and genuine laughter, so as long as you are willing to laugh, you will get the same psychological and physiological benefits of laughter.

Laughter Yoga is the hottest way to get toned for summer and involves a combination of deep yogic breathing and playful exercises designed to induce laughter.

  • Involves a combination of deep yogic breathing and playful exercises.
  • Participants encouraged to connect with their sense of child like fun.
  • 10 minutes of laughter has been proved to be like 30 minutes of planking.

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5 best full body exercises

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Blog By: Aishwarya Ghumekar

Full Body Exercise #1: Turkish Get-Up

I may be a fitness buff, but my history and geography skills aren’t quite up-to-par, so I’m not quite sure how of why this exercise is “Turkish.” But the “Get-Up” part is easy to understand once you’ve tried this move.

To complete a Turkish Get-Up, you lie on your side, with a dumbbell in one hand. The dumbbell should be held out at arm’s length. From this position, you simply stand, while keeping the dumbbell overhead at an arm’s length. This means you only have one arm and two legs to help you both stand and push the weight of that dumbbell up as you stand.

This exercise can be difficult to learn, but if you can do 3-4 sets of 5-10 Turkish Get-Ups per side, then you are probably in pretty good shape!

Full Body Exercise #2: Swing Squats

For this exercise, hold a dumbbell or a kettlebell down by your feet with one outstretched arm, then drop into a squat position with your butt pushed behind you, your back straight, and your heels firmly planted. Now, stand about halfway up as you begin to swing the dumbbell up, quickly reverse direction and drop down into a full squat position again, then powerfully stand as you swing the dumbbell overhead.

If you do this exercise as explosively as possible, which I highly recommend, you will find that your heart rate will get very high with just a few repetitions, making the swing squat both a cardiovascular and strength building exercise.

Full Body Exercise #3: Medicine Ball Slams

This is a great stress-relieving exercise, and also helps to build power and athleticism in the upper body, core, and legs. It is also a very easy full-body exercise to learn.

To do a medicine ball slam, you simply get a medicine ball (those big heavy balls you can often find in the corner of the gym), raise it overhead, then swing your arms down as you release the ball and slam it into the ground as hard as possible.

As you can imagine, this can be a loud exercise, so you may want to find a private area of the gym (like an empty group exercise room) and you will also need to be careful not to let the ball bounce back up and hit you in the face!

For an extra challenge, I sometimes finish a workout to complete exhaustion with 50-100 medicine ball slams.

Full Body Exercise #4: Burpees (also known as Squat-Thrust Jumps)

As an infamous exercise used by fitness bootcamp instructors, the burpee is one of those movements that you can love to hate. It will give you a full body workout in a matter of mere minutes, but also requires a great deal of focus and intensity.

Here’s how to do a burpee: from a standing position, squat down, put your hands on the ground, kick your legs out behind you, do a push-up (optional), then kick the legs back up into a squat position, stand and jump as you swing your arms overhead. If you’re an advanced exerciser or want to add even more “oomph” to this exercise, you can wear a weighted vest as you do your burpees.

Most burpee workouts involve doing a series of 10, 15, or 20 burpees as part of a full body weight training or body weight circuit, but you can do just 1-2 minutes of burpees in the morning as a fantastic metabolic booster to jumpstart your day!

Full Body Exercise #5: Deadlift-to-Overhead Press

The premise of the dead lift-to-overhead press is fairly simple: you pick a heavy object off the ground and lift it overhead. The object can be a dumbbell, barbell, kettlebell, medicine ball, sandbag, or, if you’re working out with a partner, even another person!

When you pick the object off the ground, which is called a deadlift, you’ll need to have good form: looking forward with your knees bent, butt out, and back straight.

You then stand, and as you stand or after you are in a standing position, hoist the weight overhead – using your hip and leg muscles to assist your upper body with driving the weight up.


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Child Nutrition|Manasi Joshi

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Blog By: Manasi Joshi

Child Fitness and Nutrition

 

With the globalization more and more fast food chain businesses are coming up in India, and with the attraction towards branded products, the malls are becoming more popular place to spend the weekends with children. There are video games and food courts and all the branded shops in one place and youth spend their whole day in the malls instead of going for outings like hiking, trekking, picnics etc. where there is lots of physical activity and homemade dabbas.

Obesity in children is a growing concern today.  Children are addicted towards TV and Video games. They should be encouraged to play outdoor games and at least one sport of their liking.  Instead of joining them for a gym they can go for the fun and activity classes like martial arts, dancing, swimming and playing sports in holidays. Martial Arts is one of the best for the overall fitness of young children. They will also learn discipline and dedication.

Good nutrition is very crucial for growing children.  They need energy for their lots of activities throughout the day.  Proteins are the building blocks, thus they will need optimum amount of protein for their growth. Fats are crucial for transportation of vitamins and minerals and for formation of growth hormones. Making their food interesting is very important to attract them to eat healthy food. We can give them vegetable stuffed Parathas, Thalipeet, Uttapas or Idlis, instead of giving them Chapati and veg in the tiffin. Calorie dense foods are good for them. A thalipeet of all cereals and pulses flour with added vegetables and paneer is in itself a wholesome meal.

Children observe and tend to follow their elders. So if elders are eating healthy and remain active, the child will also do the same.  Cultivating good eating and exercising habits from early childhood will keep them healthy and active throughout their life.

Recommended Dietary Allowances for Children

Group Age Body Wt

Kg

Net Energy

Kcal/day

Protein

g/day

Visible Fat

g/day

Calcium

mg/day

Iron

mg/day

 

Children

1-3 yrs

4-6 yrs

7-9 yrs

12.2

19.0

26.9

1240

1690

1950

22

30

41

 

25

 

400

12

18

26

Boys

Girls

10-12 yrs

10-12 yrs

35.4

31.5

2190

1970

54

57

22 600 34

19

Boys

Girls

13-15 yrs

13-16 yrs

47.8

46.7

2450

2060

70

65

22 600 41

28

Boys

Girls

16-18 yrs

16-18 yrs

57.1

49.9

2640

2060

78

63

22 500 50

30

Reference: Nutritive Value of Indian Foods by C. Gopalan, B.V.Rama Sastri & S.C.Balasubramanian

 

 

Recipe

Multi Grain Pan Cakes (Thalipeeth)

Method of Making Flour:

Ingredients:

  • White millet (Jowar), Pearl millet(Bajra), Finger millet(Ragi) and Bengal Gram (whole) 500 g each
  • Rice(handpounded), Green Gram, Black Gram 250 g each
  • Wheat, whole coriander 100 g each
  • Carom seeds (Ajwain) 50 g

Method:

Roast all the ingredients separately, then mix together, cool and prepare the slightly coarse flour. It will last for 4 to 6 months

Method for Thalipeeth

Ingredients:

  • Thalipeeth Flour 1 cup
  • Onion 1 medium
  • Any Vegetable like cabbage, carrot etc 1 cup
  • Cottage cheese (Paneer) or cheese ½ cup
  • Coriander – cumin powder 1 tsp
  • Fresh coriander ½ cup
  • Carom seeds (Ajwain) 1 tsp
  • Red chili powder and salt as per taste

Method:

  • Mix all the above ingredients and make a soft dough. Rest it for ½ an hour
  • Take a pan and coat it with oil
  • Take ½ of the above dough and press it on the pan or on a plastic to make a flat pan cake.
  • Cover with lid and keep on the flame till it turns golden brown, then flip and make the other side.
  • Serve with curd or chutney

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Top Cardio and Stretching erros| Arjun Jain

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Blog by: Arjun Jain

 

Top Cardio Errors

1. No warm-up. Don’t set the treadmill, bike or stair climber to your fastest pace as soon as you step on. Gradually increase your speed.

2. Doing too much cardio. By doing too much cardio your body perceives cardio exercising as a stressor, and chemically reacts the same way it does to “bad” stress. Therefore, too much cardio can have negative effects on your metabolism the same way that eating too few calories can. In addition, too much cardio exercise can result in muscle loss. Too much cardio also puts a lot of wear and tear on your body, which could leave you open to injury and overtraining.

3. Exercising too hard. If you want to lose fat and not muscle you should not set cardio equipment at the fast cardio pace. Target heart rates for fat burning are posted on treadmills, elliptical machines and stationary exercise bikes. The measurements used to get those numbers are designed to avoid litigation as much as they are as to benefit users.

4. Poor posture. Poor posture, like bending forward can result in injuries to your lower back, and can also put pressure on your knee and hip joints. When using cardio equipment, stand tall. On treadmills, keep the incline and speed adjusted so you can walk without having to hold on to the machine. Avoid leaning back while hanging on with your hands. For stair steppers, keep your upper body lifted. Leaning forward and resting the upper body on the machine means the effort is too difficult. Lighten the load or slow down so that you can stand as you normally would walking up a flight of stairs. When using an elliptical trainer go for a full extension of the legs each time. And, on cycles sit upright.

5. Leaning on the Tread Master rails. If you lean on the handrails during your workout, you’re just defeating the purpose. Keep arms moving as you would when walking or running.

6. Doing cardio before weight training. There are reasons you do NOT want to do your cardio before weight training. Once the cardio is done, the quality of your lifting will most likely suffer. Your energy sources may be used up. Since you reap the most benefit from the last two or three reps of weight lifting, it is essential that you have the necessary energy to achieve those reps. That fuel may not be available if you do a hard cardio workout prior to your weight training. Consistently training in a weakened state actually lead to decrease in strength over time because it discourages your muscles from being adequately challenged. Cardio burns fat and carbs. If you do your cardio first, the carbs may not be there to fuel your weight training.

7. No cool-down. If you want to stay injury free, you should allow yourself time to cool down. Cooling down will help your body to recover and this recovery will help you be prepared for the next workout. Cool down is just as important in allowing your heart rate to lower as your warm up is for increasing the heart rate.

Top Stretching Errors

1. Not holding the stretch. By not holding the stretch you will be defeating the purpose of the stretch. Holding the stretch (Static Stretching) for a period of time will create more flexibility, loosen muscles and tight tendons, and reduces muscle tension.

2. Not stretching at all. When you don’t stretch, your body loses flexibility. Good flexibility not only increases athletic performance but also plays an important role in helping you stay injury free.

3. Bouncing. Bouncing while stretching can cause micro trauma in the muscle, which must heal itself with scar tissue. The scar tissue tightens the muscle, making you less flexible, and more prone to pain. This type of repetitive, bouncing stretch is called Ballistic Stretching and it can strain your muscles and tendons because they aren’t quite warmed up yet.


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Habits that ruin your health| Sonali Shukla

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Blog by: Sonali Shukla

 


Everyday habits that are ruining your health without you being aware of it

“Old habits die hard”. Having said that, there are a lot of things we do in our everyday life which have ill health effects. We might be under the wrong impression that a walk around the park and keeping the junk at bay are enough for us to be at our perfect health. Most of us refrain to agree upon our bad habits, but we cannot deny the fact that in our fast paced, career-oriented lives we somehow compromise on our health, which will not prove to be good in the long run. So let’s strike out these habits given below:

  • The late night eating habits:

They say that, 8pm is the ideal time by which a kitchen should close down. However it may not be possible today, reason being, the work schedule. But, what is possible is that, we finish a light meal by 11 at night and then carry on with the work pending. Because gulping down food late at night is the reason for the everyday problems of lack of sleep, headaches to fatal outcomes like oesophageal cancer, respiratory problems and also asthma and chronic bronchitis.

  • Overusing your smartphone:

We are all aware of the ill effects of using a smart phone in access, but somehow, we fail to cater to the responsibility of managing our own health. Today we cannot eliminate the need of smartphones or digital devices in our lives, but we sure can reduce its usage or the amount of time we spend on it. Needless to say that we’re all aware that these smart devices ruin your eyesight, disrupt your sleeping patterns and come with add-ons like headaches, neck and shoulder pain.

  • Sleeping with the contact lenses:

Though this may not imply to all of us, but it sure should concern those who use contact lenses. Studies show that people who sleep with their contacts are almost 20 times more likely to develop eye infections, sometimes leading to permanent corneal scarring and loss of vision. The effect of this bad habit worsens with each consecutive night worn.

  • Keeping the wallet in your pocket:

Now, as weird as it might be to believe, carrying your wallet in your pocket has some serious effects that we have been unaware of. Studies say that keeping your wallet in your pocket causes strain and stretching of ligaments and may also result in pain in the pelvis and back.

It may also result in unnatural tilting of the pelvis. Try carrying your wallet into a blazer/coat pocket or not carrying the cards that you don’t require.

  • Ignoring your oral health:

Let’s admit it. Oral health is not on our priority list of health problems to be fixed. But, little do we know that ignoring oral health can not only result in tooth loss, but is also linked with problems like diabetes, heart strokes, pre-mature birth etc. So, do not just brush and floss away, try keeping your dentist in loop of any problems faced. Trying fixing the problem before you’ve to get your teeth fixed.

 

It may not sound like a big deal, but these habits will cost you your health, which is a big deal to lose upon. So buckle up, and get rid of these habits as soon as you can.


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Weight Loss- 4 Intangible things that can make all the difference|Jyoti Hassanandani

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Blog By: Jyoti Hassanandani

 

 

So before you start figuring out what are the things you want to get off your plate for losing those extra kilos, get these 4 things on the plate. Let these words echo in your mind all the time until it becomes a reflex action –

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1 – DISCIPLINE – You know it what’s the big deal. It is indeed a big deal. One small change you bring about in your diet or workout can make a significant shift provided you do it in a disciplined manner. For instance you decide to start working out everyday. Add discipline to it. Do it at the same time of the day and do it everyday. You will start experiencing the change. On the other hand remove the discipline factor just start working out. Things are bound to go haywire. So every change, small or big, you bring about in your diet, exercise and lifestyle be disciplined to get maximum benefits. Have a time discipline for everything. Body responds fantastically if u have time discipline. If you workout at 7 am regularly the body is so intelligent it will prepare itself for workout at 7 am every day. Same applies to food and hunger.

2 – CONSISTENCY – Be consistent in your efforts. Every day’s efforts accumulate over time and results are bound to show. For instance if you have decided to eat high protein breakfast or cut dinner size then practice it consistently. Each day’s efforts count. Don’t ruin your efforts over weekends or when you are out on a holiday. It’s very difficult to go on track once you are off track. So be consistent in efforts and also progress consistently in your efforts. Always bring about changes you can sustain.

3 – SACRIFICE – You are not the only one who is not getting to go out on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and enjoy your favorite foods. There are several people who have sacrificed many things and in return have reaped several benefits of staying fit. They get to eat their favorite food occasionally but they can savor it guilt free. People who indulge frequently can’t even enjoy the indulgence once. Fitness freaks sacrifice many things to stay regular for their workout. Fit people can sleep peacefully without any burden while people who are overweight can’t sleep until they can take that burden off. A lighter and fitter person always enjoys life better. Several people have already done it and are doing it everyday. Sacrificing small small things in effect is a very low price we pay for the huge benefits we get.

4 – COMMITMENT – Many times people see weight loss and fitness as trivial issues of life compared to bigger issues they have in hand. So it sounds too philosophical when we say it’s important to be committed to your workout and to your diet. Triviality changes to criticality when you become too overweight or start facing health issues like blood pressure, diabetes, joints pain, heart problems etc. What is life without a healthy body. It’s always good to start early and take fitness seriously. Your entire life depends on condition of your body. You will not stay young forever. It’s important to start caring for it now. Consider looking after body as an important task. Be committed to your workout plan and diet as much as you are committed to several other important things of your life.

Lastly, I have seen efforts of many dilapidated over time just because they were not consistent enough or lack of discipline made things go haywire or sacrificing small small things was too much effort and yes commitment for fitness seemed not so important.

So it takes a while to realize the significance of having these qualities and how significantly they can impact you in your weight loss endeavor. But if you could just do it, it will take you a long long way and unfold their importance in its own time.

Many people have learnt the importance of these practices over time from their mistakes and experiences. These qualities are the backbone of any endeavor – Commitment, Sacrifice, Discipline and Consistency. Learn it from experienced or learn it over time through your own experiences is your choice.


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Eating Healthy

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Blog by : Saheefa Tanveer.

Eating right can help you maintain a healthy weight and avoid certain health problems, but your diet can also have a profound effect on your mood and sense of wellbeing. Studies have linked eating a typical Western diet—filled with processed meats, packaged meals, takeout food, and sugary snacks—with higher rates of depression, stress, bipolar disorder, and anxiety. Eating an unhealthy diet may even play a role in the development of mental health disorders such as ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, and schizophrenia, or in the increased risk of suicide in young people.

Eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, cooking meals at home, and reducing your intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates, on the other hand, may help to improve mood and lower your risk for mental health problems. If you have already been diagnosed with a mental health problem, eating well can even help to manage your symptoms and regain control of your life.

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While some specific foods or nutrients have been shown to have a beneficial effect on mood, it’s your overall dietary pattern that is most important. That means switching to a healthy diet doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition. You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy to have a healthy diet and make a difference to the way you think and feel.
set yourself up for success, think about planning a healthy diet as a number of small, manageable steps—like adding a salad to your diet once a day—rather than one big drastic change. As your small changes become habit, you can continue to add more healthy choices.

Prepare more of your own meals. Cooking more meals at home can help you take charge of what you’re eating and better monitor exactly what goes into your food
Make the right changes. When cutting back on unhealthy foods in your diet, it’s important to replace them with healthy alternatives. Replacing dangerous trans fats with healthy fats (such as switching fried chicken for grilled fish) will make a positive difference to your health. Switching animal fats for refined carbohydrates, though (such as switching your breakfast bacon for a donut), won’t lower your risk for heart disease or improve your mood.
Drink plenty of water. Water helps flush our systems of waste products and toxins, yet many people go through life dehydrated—causing tiredness, low energy, and headaches. It’s common to mistake thirst for hunger, so staying well hydrated will also help you make healthier food choices.

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Key to any healthy diet is also  moderation. But what is moderation? In essence, it means eating only as much food as your body needs. You should feel satisfied at the end of a meal, but not stuffed. Moderation is also about balance. Despite what fad diets would have you believe, we all need a balance of protein, fat, fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals to sustain a healthy body. Eat healthy and stay fit .


 

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