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My Tropic Story – Sandra

Are you wondering what it is like to be a tropic Ambassador?

Find out, as Sandra shares her story…

If this seems like a good fit for you, simply contact me using my contact form.

There is absolutely no obligation whatsoever. i would simply love to help you create extra income, with the fabulous products and opportunity that has been created by Tropic.

Start your journey today!

Karen

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12 Rich Benefits of Raisins, Nutritional Facts, and Healthy Recipes

Just like the popular saying goes, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” raisins should not be judged by their shriveled, aged, and dry appearance. These golden (also come in black-ish and green hues) hued dried fruits popularly known as “Kishmish”, are nutrient-filled powerhouses. They are a rich source of fiber, iron, calcium, potassium, and other essential nutrients, that provide you with an energy boost and help you keep your hair and skin glowing. Besides, they make for a quick and simple snack, that can be consumed at any part of the day. Although we widely see them only in sweet dishes like ‘payasam’ or ‘barfis’, adding them as toppings to your yogurt, cereal, granola, baked goods or trail mixes will not only enhance the taste of your dish but also help you get the nutrients your body deserves.

Table of Contents

Nutritional Facts of Raisins

Let’s take a detailed look at what these “little drops of heaven” have to offer in terms of nutrients, in the section below – 1 Cup of Raisins (165g -packed):

  • Calories – 508
  • Proteins – 3.0g
  • Fats – 0.5g 
  • Carbohydrates – 123.1g
  • Fiber – 11.2g
  • Calcium – 40.60g
  • Iron – 3.76mg
  • Magnesium – 43.50mg
  • Potassium – 1196.25mg
  • Vitamin C – 7.83mg

12 Health Benefits of Raisins 

#1 Aids in digestion

Digestive Health

Raisins help keep the digestive system healthy as they are rich in fiber, providing a laxative effect to the stomach. A healthy intake of raisins (especially before bed or soaked raisins on waking up) helps relieve constipation, keep bowel movements smooth, and eliminates waste products and toxins from the body. Raisins are also known to bring instant relief in bloating, acid reflux, and flatulence.

#2 Improves eyesight

Improves Eyesight

Raisins are rich in polyphenolic phytonutrients such as vitamin A, A-Carotenoid, and beta carotene which help in keeping your eyesight strong. These nutrients help in protecting your eyes by reducing the free radical action that weakens the vision and causes muscular degeneration as well as cataract. 

#3 Regulates blood pressure

Regulates blood pressure

Blood Pressure is caused by excess salt consumption in the body. Raisins are low sodium food that also contains a good amount of potassium, which helps in balancing the sodium content in your body and in relaxing your blood vessels.

#4 Improves bone strength

Bone health

Raisins are packed with calcium which is required for bone strength. Another major nutrient that is required for strong bone formation is Boron, and raisins are rich sources of it. Therefore, eating raisins, especially soaked raisins helps in better absorption of nutrients and improved bone density, according to several research studies. 

#5 Supports weight loss goals

supports weight loss goals

Raisins are low in calories and are naturally sweet. They are great to curb your sweet cravings without loading on extra calories. They are also rich in fiber, helping the body feel full for long with just a small serving. Also, they help in controlling your blood sugar levels and beat cravings, thereby, supporting your weight loss goals as well.

#6 Boosts immunity

Immunity

These little ‘golden droplets’ are loaded with many vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, and vitamin C that boost the immune system and help fight off infections. The anti-inflammatory properties and the antibacterial properties of raisins strengthen your immunity, thus making your body less susceptible to infections.

#7 Prevents anemia

Raisins play a trivial role in preventing anemia. Iron is the most essential element required for the formation of red blood cells and raisins are rich in iron, copper, and vitamins that are essential for making red blood cells and carrying oxygen throughout the body.

#8 Cures bloating and acidity

cures acidity

Raisins contain high levels of potassium and magnesium, which are found to reduce acidity. Consuming raisins regularly reduces the toxic level in the blood thereby reducing conditions like bloating, flatulence, and other health issues such as boils and skin diseases.

#9 Prevents tooth decay

Prevents tooth decay

Oleanolic acid present in raisins helps in the prevention of tooth decay. They also help in keeping the teeth clean and healthy by removing germs. Raisins also help prevent cavity causing bacteria. Moreover, as raisins are rich in calcium and boron, they help in the prevention of tooth decay as well as help in teeth whitening. 

#10 Treats infertility problems

With natural sugars being abundant in raisins, they help release loads of energy and are useful in treating erectile dysfunction in men. Furthermore, raisins have arginine, which helps in improving sperm motility and help in treating infertility. 

#11 Regulates cholesterol levels and improves heart health

heart health

When raisins are consumed regularly, bad cholesterol is controlled and the good cholesterol is increased. Thereby, ensuring that heart health is improved and helps in mitigating the forming of blood clots and other cardiovascular problems. 

#12 Skincare and healthy hair

Healthy skin and shiny hair

According to a study, the presence of resveratrol in raisins help in removing toxic cells from the blood and helps in purifying the blood. The skin cells are also prevented from being damaged and help in the prevention of wrinkles and saggy skin. In addition, raisins help in maintaining shiny hair and prevent hair loss problems, especially conditions like flakiness, scalp itchiness, and dandruff. 

Now that we have seen the numerous health benefits of raisins, let’s take a look at how they can be added to our diets in the most healthy way –

Top 2 Nutritionist-Approved Healthy Recipes with Raisins

Raisin chutney

Raisin chutney

Ingredients:

  • Raisins 1 cup
  • Lime juice 1 tbsp
  • Cumin powder ½ tsp
  • Chilli powder ½ tsp
  • Ginger grated ½ tsp
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • Soak raisins in lukewarm water for 1 hour.
  • Grind with other ingredients to a fine paste. Store in the refrigerator. 

Carrot and raisin salad

Raisins carrot salad

Ingredients:

  • Soaked raisins 3 tbsp
  • Carrots grated 1 cup
  • Walnuts – 3 halves
  • Mint leaves chopped 1 tsp
  • For the dressing – 
  • Lemon juice 1 tsp
  • Honey 1 tsp
  • Olive oil 1 tsp
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  • Mix ingredients for the dressing. 
  • Combine salad ingredients, pour the dressing and mix well. Serve immediately.

Summary

They may appear unappealing with their aged appearance and shriveled texture, but raisins are some of the most whole and nutrient-dense foods that can be found in the kitchen. They are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, energy, and electrolytes. Their plethora of health benefits like improved digestion, bone health, skin health, and heart health, make it a must in your everyday diet. Known to be a healthier substitute for sugared candies, raisins can be added to your regular yogurt, cereal, granola, baked dishes to not only enhance their taste but also add a nutritional element to them. So, if you are among the many looking for ways to improve your health, then adding these golden dry fruits to your meal is the way to go! 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. How many raisins can one have in a day?

A. You can eat about 1/4 cup of raisins in a day.

Q. What are the benefits of having soaked raisins over unsoaked ones?

A. Soaking the raisins increases the bioavailability of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Soaked raisins also help in digestion as well as constipation.

Q. Can diabetics eat raisins, even when their sugar content is high?

A. Raisins are high in fibre along with natural sugars which does not cause a sugar spike thereby making them safe for diabetics.

Q. How often can one have raisins in a day?

A. One can have raisins throughout the day, as snacks or sprinkled on salads or fruits or to satisfy your sweet cravings post meal.

Q. Are there any side effects if one consumes raisins daily?

A. If one eats more than the recommended serving of raisins daily, it increases the soluble fiber. Too much fiber may cause gastrointestinal upset, such as cramps, gas, and bloating.

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Surya Namaskar: Types, Poses, Benefits, and More

Surya Namaskar Ek, Fayde Anekh. In Surya Namaskar, Surya refers to “the sun,” and Namaskar means “bowing down in respect.” This has been the most popular yogic kriyas for many decades now, as it combines 12 yoga asanas in a yogic sequence. Practicing Surya Namaskar daily helps in balancing three constituents of your body, i.e., Kapha, Pitta, and Vata, which will help you lead your life in a greater way and influence your creativity and intuitive abilities. It’s simple yet powerful poses are what make it possible for people of all age groups and all sizes to perform it, anytime, anywhere. 

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Over the centuries, Surya Namaskar has evolved, and its poses have differed into various styles and variations. Moreover, this is one yogic kriya that never diminished but has only expanded. In reality, Surya Namaskar is integrated into various types of yoga styles. Let’s take a look at them in the section below: 

  1. Ashtanga Surya Namaskar: In the Ashtanga Surya Namaskar series, sun salutations have two forms. -Type A and B. Type A, consists of 9 Vinyasas and type B consists of seventeen vinyasas.
  2. Hatha Surya Namaskar: It is performed through the 12 spinal poses, which puts deep emphasis on breathing prominently. It is one of the most commonly practiced Surya Namaskar styles and possibly the easiest one. 
  3. Iyengar Surya Namaskar: Iyengar Surya Namaskar is similar to the Hatha practice, but here the focus is a little more on pace and energy, wherein, it is performed at a quicker pace than other Surya Namaskar types.

In this section let’s spend some time exploring the 12 classic poses of traditional Hatha Surya Namaskar.  

Pose 1: Prayer pose – Pranamasana. 

 Prayer pose – Pranamasana.

Execution: 

  • Start by standing straight at the front of your mat, bringing your feet together, and keeping arms loose alongside. 
  • Now, close your eyes and bring your palms to meet in the center of your chest. Relax the whole body.

Benefits: 

  • This pose relaxes the nervous system and helps in gaining the balance of the body.
  • It also helps relieve stress and anxiety.  

Pose 2: Raised arms pose – Hasta Uttanasana

 Raised arms pose – Hasta Uttanasana

Execution: 

  • Hasta Uttanasana is started by exhaling deeply
  • Inhale deeply thereafter stretching your arms forward and bringing them up over your head.
  • Look up and stretch the body slightly backward by pushing your pelvis forward.
  • Breathe out. (Focus on breathing-in when you arch backward, and as you bend forward breathe-out.) 

Benefits: 

  • Stretches and tones the muscles of the abdomen.
  • Expands the whole body from heel to the tip of the fingers.

Pose 3: Hand to foot pose – Hasta Padasana. 

Hasta Padasana

Execution: 

  1. Exhale and start to fold forward and down to the knees; as you come forward, keep the spine long.
  2. Hands down on the floor, have just your fingertips touching the floor.
  3. Bend the knees just enough so your chest can rest against the thighs, and your head touching your knee. Hold this position for a few seconds.

Benefits: 

  1. It stretches the spine and makes it flexible. 
  2. It also stretches the hamstrings and opens the legs, shoulders, and arms muscles.

Pose 4: Equestrian pose – Ashwa Sanchalanasana

Equestrian pose – Ashwa Sanchalanasana

Execution: 

  1. Next, step your right leg back, putting just the knee down and comfortably tucking the toes under.
  2.  At the same time bend the left knee leaving the foot flat on the floor.
  3. Press the fingertips or palms down to the floor, roll the shoulders back, and slowly lookup. 

Benefits: 

  1. Strengthens the leg muscles and spine.
  2. Relieves in indigestion and constipation.

Pose 5: Mountain pose – Parvatasana 

Parvatasana

Execution: 

  1. Slowly exhale, having control bring your palms onto the floor and stepping the left foot back beside the right, lift your hips up into the air. 
  2. Lengthening through your spine, bring the shoulders towards the ankles. Take a few breaths.

Benefits: 

  1. It improves posture and calms the mind.

Pose 6: Ashtanga Namaskara

Ashtanga Namaskara

Execution: 

  1. As you exhale, lower your knees down and slowly, with a controlled chest, come down while pushing your head forward on the floor. 
  2. Keep your elbows right in against your sides; giving you more strength. 
  3. Now, as you build more strength in this transition, you can lower the chest down and still keep your hip up in the air.

Benefits: 

  1. It improves the flexibility of the back and spine.
  2. Strengthens the back muscle and relieves build up tension. 
  3. Your eight body parts are worked in a single pose.  

Pose 7: Cobra pose – Bhujangasana

Cobra pose – Bhujangasana

Execution: 

  1. Keep hands and feet right where they are. And inhale. 
  2. Slide forward and raise your chest like a cobra. 
  3. Roll the shoulders back, Keep your elbows bent, and squeeze them back towards each other. 
  4. Slowly lookup. 

Benefits: 

  1. It improves flexibility and mood.
  2. It stretches the shoulders, chest, back, legs muscle, all at once. 

Pose 8: Mountain pose – Parvatasana.

Parvatasana

Execution: 

  1. While you exhale, tuck the toes under. (same as pose 5)
  2. Press back to an inverted V position, lengthening through the spine, bringing the shoulders towards the ankles. Take a few breaths here. As you exhale lift the hips towards the sky and press your hands into the ground. 

Benefits: 

  1. It increases the blood flow to the spinal region.
  2. It relieves symptoms of menopause in women.

Pose 9: Equestrian pose – Ashwa Sanchalanasana.

Ashwa Sanchalasana

Execution: 

  1. Bring the left foot forwards between the hands, and push the pelvis forwards. Lift the torso and tilt the head back, arching the back and looking up to the sky (same as pose 4).

Benefits: 

  1. Brings flexibility to leg muscles and tones the abdominal organs.
  2. Strengthens the spine. 

Pose 10: Hand to foot pose – Hasta Padasana.

hasta padasana

Execution: 

  1. Exhale, keep the right foot in front, bringing the legs together (same as pose 3).
  2. Bend the knees just enough so your chest can rest against the thighs, and your head touching your knee. 

Benefits:

  1. It helps in curing insomnia, osteoporosis, headache, anxiety, and stress.

Pose 11: Raised Arms Pose- Hasta Uttanasana

Hasta Uttanasana

Execution: 

  1. Inhale deeply thereafter stretching your arms forward and bringing them up over your head (same as pose 2)
  2. Look up and stretch the body slightly backward by pushing your pelvis forward.
  3. Breathe out. 

Benefits: 

  1. It cures health problems like asthma, lower back pain, and fatigue. It also aids digestion.
  2. Expands the chest, which results in a full intake of oxygen.

Pose 12: Standing Mountain pose – Tadasana.

Tadasana

Execution: 

  1. Then, at last, exhale and come back to the prayer position (same as pose 1). 
  2. Bring your arms down, slow and steady.  

Benefits: 

  1. Strengthens thighs, knees, and ankles and improves posture.
  2. Tone your hips and abdomen and help to gain control over your muscular movements.

These 12 poses when practiced make up for one cycle of Surya Namaskar. Ideally, doing 12-15 cycles a day will get you all the benefits required by the body, keeping you fit and healthy for a better tomorrow.

Other Benefits of Surya Namaskar:

  1. Balance of Dosha: Pita, Kapha, and Vata are three doshas that can go out of balance due to various causes. It is majorly affected by the weather, food, everyday bad activities, stress at work, and depreciated sleep. However, you can keep your dosha in line with practicing Surya Namaskar daily. 
  2. Weight-loss Booster: Simply stretching the abdominal muscles will certainly make you lose extra calories through Surya namaskar. It also manages the hormonal secretions from thyroid glands that are responsible for weight gain.  
  3. Improves mental health: Surya Namaskar has a great significance for children to strengthen their focus and relax their minds while reducing sleepiness, somatic stress, worry, and negative emotion at a dispositional level. It can help to revitalize the brain by engaging the spinal cord. A daily 15-minute practice can reap great results for the brain. 

Summary

The physical benefits of Surya Namaskar are aplenty. This 12 posture yogic kriya lubricates all the joints of your body by synchronizing with your breath giving you better physical health and mental concentration. The regular practice of 12 rounds of Surya Namaskar not only gives you enormous benefits that let you discover who you are but also keeps your body healthy and fit from the inside out! 

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Top 6 Unique Fermented Indian Superfoods

This raging pandemic has managed to bring down the entire world on its knees. However, the bright side to this is that people have started taking their health seriously now. Most are now aware that leading a healthy lifestyle has great benefits and are focussing on various factors that help in achieving and maintaining good health. People have consciously started moving towards eating whole grains, greens, fermented foods, and natural food items and avoiding the processed ones. 

Food aficionados, nutritionists, and health experts have been debating a lot over fermented foods and their health impact. Fermented foods are rich sources of B vitamins as well as K2. Fermentation is a naturally occurring anaerobic process, during which, microorganisms, such as yeast and bacteria break down the carbohydrates present in the food into organic acid, alcohol, and gases. This method helps in preserving the food items while at the same time adding to it a host of bacteria that improves gut health and immunity. These beneficial properties not only qualify fermented Indian foods as superfoods but also foods that should be a part of your everyday meal.

Now, that we have learnt how important fermented foods are, let’s take a look at their many types and some unique fermented food items that are found only in India!

Table of Contents

Fermented Foods and their Types

Fermented foods have been a significant part of traditional Indian cuisine, irrespective of the state you are in. They are made from a variety of ingredients as well as colorful fruits and vegetables. Largely there are 7 types of fermented foods:

  1. Made from cereals and/or pulses – Idli, dosa, Ambala, nan, pazhaya, etc. 
  2. Buttermilk based including cereal/pulses – Kadi, Kulu, Mor Kuzhambu, etc. 
  3. Fermented sweets and snacks – Tiskari, jalebi, Bhatura, Torani, Changpa, Thuktal, etc. 
  4. Made from milk – Curd, Philuk, Somar, Chhu, Chirpin, etc. 
  5. Made from unripe fruits, bamboo shoots, vegetables – sauerkraut, Iromba, Meshu, Goyang, Gundruk, Sinki, Khorisa-Tenga, etc. 
  6. Made from meat products – Yak Satchu, Hentak, Lona Ilish, Uttonggari, etc. 
  7. Made from pulses – Bedwin roti, dhokla, khaman, Madrah, wadi, Bekanthu, Hawaijar, etc. 

6 Indian Fermented Superfoods

#1 Enduri Pitha

This is a food item native to the state of Odisha. It is prepared at the time of the prathamastami festival from black gram and parboiled rice. The two ingredients are ground together to make a batter which is then fermented. The batter is then spread over a turmeric leaf and steamed. The food is easy to digest and can be eaten by people of any age group. 

Nutritional Quotient

100 grams of Enduri Pitha contains:

  • Carbs – 47.35 gms
  • Proteins – 7.13 gms
  • Fat – 4.04 gms 
  • Fibre – 2.95 gms 

Consumed during the winter season it is protein rich, gives energy and strengthens the body’s immune system. 

#2 Hawaijar

Made from soybean, Hawaijar is a rich source of protein. This food item is typically consumed in the state of Manipur. It has a peculiar flavor and is quite sticky. One of the microorganisms responsible for the fermentation is Bacillus spp, which helps in regulating inflammation in the body. The dish is prepared by fermenting cooked soya beans in banana or fig leaves which is kept in a closed bamboo basket for 3-5 days. Due to its high protein content, the food is recommended for adults and children over the age of 10. 

Nutritional Quotient

100 grams of Hawaijar contains:

  • Carbs – 9.4 gms
  • Proteins – 43.8 gms
  • Fat – 1.75 gms 
  • Fiber – 5.56 gms 

#3 Gundruk

Though traditionally from Nepal, this dish is very commonly consumed in the North-Eastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, and Meghalaya. Gundruk is made from fermenting leafy veggies such as mustard leaves, cauliflower, greens, and radish leaves and is used as a side dish. Farmers allow the green leaves to wilt for a day or two and then pound them with a little water, squeeze them and finally pack them away in tight-lidded jars for a few days to ferment. When it is suitably fermented the leaves are taken out and dried in the sun and used. This process makes the leaves rich in microorganisms as well as potassium, calcium, and sodium.

Nutritional Quotient: 1 gram of Gundruk contains:

  • Carbs – 48%
  • Proteins – 49% 
  • Fat – 3%

#4 Dahi (Indian Yoghurt)

Found in every Indian household, Dahi is prepared by naturally fermenting cow or buffalo’s milk. It is a rich source of folic acid, riboflavin, vitamin B-complex, and lactic acid bacteria. Used in the daily diet, it is rich in probiotics or good bacteria thereby improving gut health. It further impedes the growth of E. coli and other bad bacteria in the gut.

Nutritional Quotient

100 grams of curd contains:

  • Carbs – 4.7 gms
  • Proteins – 3.5 gms  
  • Fat – 3.3 gms 
  • Water – 88% 

Several studies have indicated that probiotic bacteria help in improving the immune system and lower cholesterol levels. 

#5 Dhokla

A traditional fermented food, Dhokla is a staple food item of Gujarat. It is prepared using Bengal gram and/or rice. Rice and pulse flour is fermented with curd and then steamed. The resulting item is airy and spongy. The process of fermentation increases the antioxidant property of making it easily digestible and suitable for diabetics as well. It helps in combating age-related diseases and diabetes. 

Nutritional Quotient

100 grams of dhokla contains:

  • Carbs – 16 gms
  • Proteins – 6.8 gms  
  • Fat – 7 gms 
  • Fiber -2-8 gms

#6 Sel roti

It is a ring-shaped fermented food eaten in Sikkim and Darjeeling and prepared from locally grown rice which is soaked overnight in cold water. The soaked rice is then pounded and mixed with sugar, wheat flour, butter, and condiments such as cardamom, nutmeg, and clove. The mixture is then kneaded into a dough and left for fermentation. Sel Roti is similar in nutritional quotient to idli and is a good source of digestible proteins. 

Nutritional Quotient

1 Sel Roti contains:

  • Carbs – 30.9 gms
  • Proteins – 3.2 gms  
  • Fat – 3.6 gms 
  • Fibre – 1.1 gms 

Summary

The traditional Indian cuisine is inundated with a variety of fermented food items made from varied raw ingredients. These food items are packed with nutrients and essential vitamins and minerals. It helps in boosting your body’s immune system and fighting common diseases such as cold, indigestion, obesity, and many other ailments. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and include these unique fermented food items in your diet and reap the many benefits. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Does fermentation increase the nutritional quotient of the food item?

A. Yes, fermentation does increase the nutritional quotient of certain food items. Additionally, it improves the availability of vitamins and minerals for absorption in the body.

Q. Are fermented food items easy to digest?

A. Yes, as most complex carbs and sugars get broken down during the fermentation process, it makes the food easily digestible.

Q. What is the effect of the fermented food items on the immune system?

A. The immune response of the body draws a lot from your gut’s health. Consuming fermented food items rich in probiotic bacteria makes your gut strong, which in turn reflects in the immune response of the body.

Q. Is there any effect of the fermented food items on the mood and behavior of a person?

A. The gut is filled with neurons that can have a direct influence on a person’s emotions and feelings. Thus, a healthy gut means a better and happier mood.

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8 Surprising Benefits of Skipping Rope for Fitness

Skipping a rope translated to hours of joy and peals of laughter during our childhood. It was the best ice-breaker on the playground. Gaining the muscle strength and the agility, it brought on was a bonus. But now, with the pandemic in place which has led to hours of staying at home, you need strength and agility, so what should you do? Hours of skipping ropes? No! Just 15 minutes of skipping can help you burn more calories and reach your fitness goals. Before we start our skipping routine, let’s take a look at some benefits skipping offers when done regularly.

Table of Contents

8 Benefits of Skipping

#1 Healthy Heart

Heart health

A healthy heart is a happy heart. And a high-intensity interval cardio workout like skipping can really make your heart healthy and happy. It utilizes all of your large muscle groups, increasing your heart rate to a point where maximum calories are burnt, and excess weight is shed. As if that was not enough, it also reduces your chances of getting a stroke and heart attack.

#2 Flat Belly

Flat belly

A flat belly is not just fashionable, but heart-friendly too. And what better way to lose overall body fat than skipping a rope. Research suggests an activity of skipping rope burns 25% more calories in 10 minutes than just jogging.  

#3 Better Bone Health

Bone Health

Who knew leafy green vegetables had a fun counterpart that could aid in bone-building? Yes, skipping rope improves bone mineral density, making the spinal cord and the bones in your legs stronger

#4 Glowing Skin

Glowing skin

Need tips for glowing skin?  Well, skip a rope! Skipping Rope raises your heart rate, boosting the blood circulation throughout your body. An elevated heart rate means increased perspiration, so the body gets rid of the toxins faster. The end result: a glowing complexion you have always dreamed of.

#5 More Agility

Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned fitness freak, skipping rope is one of the best cardio there is. It promotes agility, i.e. the power to move quickly and easily, improving your strength and stamina, flexibility and hand-eye-foot coordination. No wonder then, those from athletes to gymnasts, boxers, and tennis players to celebrities, all turn to the skipping rope.

#6 Toned Muscles

Toned muscles

Toned muscles are not just for athletes, or someone doing heavy weights at the gym. You too can achieve toned muscles for your lower as well as upper body by adding skipping to your workout routine. In the beginning, you may feel as if your leg muscles are on fire, but fear not. That is just your inactive muscles waking up. This will be normal in a few days.  A little time and a skipping rope will make them stronger, leaner and toned.

#7 Good for lungs

Breath in, breathe out. We laugh, sing, shout, talk and cheer – all thanks to our lungs. Keeping them in good shape then seems like an amazing idea. Research suggests that skipping is an excellent way to promote better respiration and improved blood circulation. It increases your intake of oxygen, thus energising your whole body.

#8 Healthy Mind

Healthy Mind

Skipping is all about setting a rhythm which your body then follows. For those few minutes, when you are skipping rope, your mind and body are in perfect synchronization. This harmonious union of the mind and the body generates positive energy good for relieving stress and depression. Skipping rope as a form of exercise can also improve memory and promote an overall feeling of well being. 

Summary 

So what are you waiting for? Put on your training shoes and start skipping a rope. It is a winning proposition from any side. Without even stepping out of your house or waiting for the weather to be just right, you can burn more calories than just jogging,  reach your fitness goals faster, flaunt that flat, healthy belly. And these are just the positive effects you will see outside. Inside, your heart will jump with joy for the strength and stamina you build, your bones will celebrate their robustness, your lungs will be breathless with gratitude, and your mind will be ablaze with ideas and insights. So get set to lose weight, become more agile and inhabit a toned physique with a skipping rope. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Before you start skipping, don’t skip these FAQs for additional tips on workout sessions.

Q. Is skipping rope a good alternative for boring steady state cardio?

A. You will be surprised to find out how good skipping rope is as a cardio workout. It ensures a whole body workout, increases your heart rate to an optimum level, and you are in charge of adjusting the pace. What’s more, it’s the most fun and challenging way to increase your stamina and endurance.

Q. Can rope skipping help me lose weight?

A. If you have chosen to skip rope as a form of workout to help you lose weight, Congratulations – you have made a good choice! That is because Rope Skipping helps you lose up to 10 calories per minute, which translates to 600 calories an hour. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. If you are a beginner, you should aim for a short 20-30 second session with 20-30 seconds of rest and repeat the cycle in sets of three. While Skipping encourages bone-building in the body, make sure you don’t already have any bone-related complaints.

Q. What kind of surface is ideal for Skipping a Rope?

A. Rope Skipping is a high impact workout. It is excellent for strengthening your leg muscles as well as your spine. But make sure you jump on surfaces like rubber-mat, vinyl or wood as they can absorb some of the impacts from your jumps. Avoid jumping on hard floors such as concrete or asphalt or you will be putting undue stress on your ankles, hips and knees. Also, avoid soft surfaces like grass or carpet.

Q. How do I determine the right size of a skipping rope for me?

A. Finding out whether a Skipping Rope is the right size for you or not is simple. Simply stand in the centre of the rope, holding it taut. Check to see if the rope reaches your armpits. If it does, you have found the right size.

Q. What should be the duration of a single skipping session?

A. The answer to that question depends on your current level of fitness, your Rope Skipping experience level, your fitness goals and injury history. If you are new to fitness altogether, we recommend once or twice a week in short 20-30 second sessions followed by 20- 30 seconds of rest in sets of three.

Q. Should I make any changes in my diet while trying to lose weight by skipping a rope?

A. The short answer to that question is: Yes.
The long answer is: Yes because you are what you eat. If you consume more calories than your body requires or think one scoop of ice cream won’t interfere with your fitness goals, you are mistaken. Eat a diet that provides all the necessary nutrients to your body. Ensure that your diet itself creates a calorie deficit so that the calories you burn while training adds to that loss, taking you closer to your weight loss goal.

Q. How to do skipping for weight loss?

A. Again, the answer depends on the duration of your workout, frequency and current fitness level. But stay assured that Rope Skipping helps you burn 25% more calories than just and it can be done indoors or outdoors.

Q. What are some of the common mistakes I can avoid?

A. Mistake #1: Jumping with a lightweight rope
As a beginner, starting with a heavier Skipping Rope helps you time your jumps and set the rhythm.
Mistake#2: Instead of your wrists, your arms or elbows are involved in turning the rope.
This results in frustration and early fatigue. Ensure that your arms remain relaxed and just your wrists turn the rope.
Mistake #3: You jump higher or bend your knees backward to give the rope more time to pass through.
Your feet should be together at all times, pointing downwards and barely lifting off the surface.
Mistake #4: Not maintaining an upright posture
Slouching is never good, and least of all, when you are Rope Skipping. Maintain a good posture and smile.
Mistake #5: Changing your training shoes often. Rope Skipping is a motor skill. Your body sets a rhythm and then follows it. But if you change your training shoes often, the body has to re-learn and adjust to the difference in heel height, etc.

 

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7 Quick and Simple Yoga Poses to Build Your Immunity

The simplest way to stay protected from common ailments, strengthen the mind and body is practicing yoga daily. In some ways, good hygiene and proper eating habits are beneficial, but yoga for immunity can also improve the body’s ability to combat infection and enable you to live a healthy and happy life. As a way to strengthen the defense system of the body, Yogic experts encourage the daily practice of yoga and meditation. An efficient immune system allows you to combat pathogens, keeping you healthy and free from any ailments.

Here are a few yoga poses/asanas intended to provide you with the additional benefits of improved immunity. 

#1 Eagle pose or Garudasana.

Garudasana

Garudasana is a standing yoga pose in which one arm has to be twisted with the other and one leg has to be twisted with the other which makes the pose look like an Eagle bird.

Steps

  1. Take a squat chair pose. 
  2. While putting weight on the left foot, put your right foot over the left foot and attach it to the calf.
  3. Place the right thigh over the left thigh as high as you can.
  4. Adjust your arms and cross your left arm to the right, crossing the wrist and attaching your elbows.
  5. Raise your elbows to the height of the shoulders while holding your shoulders, shifting away from your ears.
  6. Keep your head and spine straight
  7. Hold this position for five to seven breaths and repeat from opposite arms and legs. 

Benefits

  • This balanced pose is the best yoga for immunity as it enhances the immune system by improving blood circulation.
  • The squeezing activity in the legs and arms tends to increase blood circulation and remove toxins from the body.
  • It improves the concentration level. 
  • It relieves stiffness between shoulder blades and across the spine. 

Contraindication

Avoid doing this pose if you have ankle, wrist, and knee injury. Pregnant women in the third trimester should not perform this pose/asana.

#2 Mountain pose or Tadasana

Tadasana

Mountain Pose is the basic posture of all standing yoga postures. One needs to practice this pose perfectly to be able to learn other yoga asanas for immunity. 

Steps

  1. Stand upright and the legs apart.
  2. Raise your arm upwards while inhaling slowly and interlock your fingers. 
  3. Slowly stand on your toes and stretch your body upwards. 
  4. Hold your breath in this position, then exhale slowly while getting to the previous position.

Benefits

  • This is the simplest yoga pose to stretch the entire body and boost immunity.
  • It also strengthens the nervous system and flexibility of joints. 
  • It increases concentration. 
  • It improves body posture and lengthens the spine. 

Contraindication

People with low blood pressure problems avoid holding onto this position for too long as it may cause dizziness. Avoid doing this pose if you have strain on your back, muscle weakness, and severe migraine.

#3 Locust pose or Shalabhasana

Shalabhasana

Shalabhasana is a Sanskrit word where shalabh means grasshopper or locust, and Asana means yoga poses. The final posture of this yoga pose appears like a locust.

Steps 

  1. Lie on the stomach and put arms at the sides parallel to the floor. 
  2. Inhale and lift your head looking forward. Hold your chest and arms upon exhaling. 
  3. Keep your arms close to the torso, with your palms facing down.
  4. Use your inner thigh to lift your legs up towards the ceiling.Your weight should rest on your lower ribs, belly & front pelvis.
  5. Raise your upper body and extend your hands back to your foot. Hold this position for about ten seconds. 

Benefits

  • This pose enhances the blood circulation in the intestine and rectal muscles resulting in improved digestion and stronger immunity.
  • This pose also relieves back pain caused by long working hours and improves body posture.
  • Only five-ten minutes of this pose can help you reduce your body weight. 

Contraindication

People with slip discs, severe sciatica, and prolapsed uterus should avoid doing this yoga pose. 

#4 Standing Backbend or Anuvittasana

Anuvittasana

Anuvittasana is the Sanskrit word for ‘Standing Backbend Pose.’ The backbend poses are the best yoga poses for immunity as they detoxify the adrenal glands.

Steps

  1. Stand straight and place your palm on your lower back with your finger pointed downwards or facing forward.
  2. Bend your upper body backward while pushing your trunk forward.
  3. While looking upward, support your body weight with your hands. 
  4. Inhale as you begin the pose
  5. Exhale on arching your spine backward keeping the eyes open.
  6. Hold for about five breaths.
  7. Bring your body to relax as you are standing with a deep breath and focus on calming your body.

Benefits 

  • The deep stretching with this pose enhances the functioning of the lungs and heart and strengthens the lower spine.
  • The muscle stretch of the abdomen also improves digestion and reduces inflammation of the body, which helps in boosting immunity. 

Contraindication

People with neck injuries and heart diseases should avoid doing this pose/asana.

#5 Child pose or Balasana

Balasana

It is a concluding yoga posture, for breath relaxation allowing you to come to peace with the body. 

Steps 

  1. Sit on your knees apart, with the hips touching your heels.
  2. Put the hands backward and palm down
  3. While exhaling bend down, bringing your chest between the thighs.
  4. Hold onto this posture for two minutes with normal breathing.
  5. While raising your body to return to the previous position inhale slowly. 

Benefits 

  • Balasana is an important yoga posture to enhance immunity.
  • It tones the abdominal muscles, strengthening the mechanism of digestion.
  • It stretches your lower back and your spine as it relaxes your body.
  • It helps in reducing back and neck pain.

Contraindication

People with knee and ankle injuries should avoid doing this pose. 

#6 Cobra pose or Bhujangasana 

Bhujangasana

Bhujangasana appears like a snake with a lifted crown. It is also a chest expanding posture that helps to stimulate white blood cells that strengthen immunity.

Steps

  1. Lie on your tummy and keep your legs close. 
  2. Place your hands near the last ribcage, keep your elbows parallel, and close to your body.
  3. While inhaling, raise your upper body and arch your spine back with the support of your hands.
  4. Hold the arms straight, unlike the planks, and keep this pose for twenty-five seconds.
  5. Exhale while coming back to the ground and lie on your tummy. 

Benefits

  • This pose strengthens the spine, abdominal muscles, arms, and shoulder. 
  • Daily practice improves digestion and boosts immunity. 
  • It helps in relieving stress. 
  • This pose is very beneficial for asthmatics. 
  • This pose also enhances the male and female reproductive systems. 

Contraindication 

  • People with severe back injuries should avoid doing this pose.
  • Pregnant and menstruating women should avoid doing this pose/asana. 

#7 Chair pose or Utkatasana

Utkatasana

This pose strengthens the entire body especially the thighs. It includes sitting down, as though you were going to collapse into a chair, but maintaining the position to balance and reinforce your muscles.

Steps

  1. Stand straight with arms alongside. 
  2. Raise your arms straight with your palm facing each other. 
  3. While exhaling bend your knees such that the thighs become perpendicular to the ground.
  4. Remain in this position for 30 seconds.
  5. While inhaling slowly stand straight again. 
  6. Repeat it five times.

Benefits 

  • This pose enhances the balance and strength of the body.
  • It activates the heart and abdominal muscles. 
  • It helps in removing excess fat from thighs. 
  • It strengthens legs and arms muscles.
  • It aligns the spine. 

Contraindication 

People who have chronic knee, spine, and neck injuries should avoid doing this pose. 

Summary

Yoga is a holistic discipline that improves our external physique as well as the immune system. Yoga for immunity consists of yogic methods of breathing that help to protect the lungs and stimulate the body’s immune system. In addition to maintaining a nutritional diet, having enough sleep, and remaining stress-free, you should practice yoga daily under professional guidance. Above mentioned yoga poses, when practiced daily, will provide you with an immune system that is healthy and strengthened.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. What’s the significance of breathing while doing yoga?

A. Controlled inhalation and exhalation are important phenomena in yoga for immunity which allow oxygen to reach the deepest cells of different organs and improves blood circulation. It promotes the movement of lymphatic fluid in the human body and strengthens the immune system.

Q. How to escape accidents in Eagle Pose?

A. Do not force the knees and hold the position beyond your capacity. Concentrate on a single point in the front to maintain the balance.

Q. How is yoga different from other physical exercises?

A. Yoga is more than a physical posture, unlike stretching or exercise. In yoga for immunity breathing technique is applied with different poses such that body movement, blood circulation, and mind fluctuation are aligned and balanced with controlled breathing. This connection of breath, mind, and body allows us to focus inwards.

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Zumba Dance: Pros and Cons You Can Expect

Zumba is the latest addition to fitness and dance; it is an aerobic dance program inspired by several Latin and American style dance forms such as hip-hop and salsa. Currently, there are 200,000 Zumba dance class locations in 180 countries globally. Unlike the traditional fitness classes where you hear grunts, you will hear Latin music in Zumba dance classes. Zumba is a Spanish word meaning to move fast and briskly. Alberto Beto Perez, a Colombian dancer, came up with the idea of Zumba dance. He started classes in the 90s in his home country. However, he officially founded the dance classes in 2001 in the USA. Since its release in 2001, Zumba dance classes have grown exponentially in terms of the fitness programs they offer. Let’s take a look below:

There is a wide range of Zumba dance fitness programs that you can choose from. Some of the most popular programs are:

  • Zumba Step: It is similar to standard Zumba dance but with a few more aerobic steps for quick leg movements. If you want to tone your legs into shape, Zumba step is the one for you.
  • Zumba Toning: Adds some part of traditional strength training using toning (lightweight) sticks.
  • ZumbaKids: These are Zumba classes specifically designed for kids. The ZumbaKids classes have added flavor of games and activities so that kids can enjoy Zumba dance classes.
  • Zumba Gold: These classes are dedicated to older people. It is similar to traditional Zumba but with low intensity.
  • Aqua Zumba: Brings the crazy Zumba fun to the pool. Aqua Zumba is more intense as you need to make your moves inside water.
  • Strong by Zumba: Zumba does not provide much strength benefits, but the new program Strong by Zumba is a high-intensity hybrid workout that brings together dancing with strength workouts. It involves routines like push-ups, squats, and lunges choreographed on the tune of beats.

The Zumba dance fitness program starts with slow music and gradually increases intensity over time. This helps you to burn calories, enhance cardiovascular health, and improve coordination and balance. Below mentioned are some of the health benefits of Zumba dance classes.

#1 Burn Calories and Fat

Burns calories and fat

Zumba involves the entire body’s movement. You will move everything right from your hands to feet. Also, the dance routine is pretty quick and simple. Hence, Zumba can help you burn calories and reduce fat. You can expect to burn anywhere between 500 to 800 calories in an hour. The entire body routine eliminates the stress on muscles and improves your fitness.

#2 Improve Cardiovascular Fitness

Improves cardiovascular fitness

It is essential to keep your heart in good shape, and Zumba dance helps you with just that. Dance moves in Zumba makes your heart pump faster. The quick movements from the Zumba routine forces you to breathe hard; this, in turn, makes your lungs to add more oxygen into the blood,  which gets circulated throughout your body. The more you breathe, the higher your energy level goes and keeps you fit.

#3 Enhance Core Endurance

improves core endurance

Your core endurance will increase if you continue to do Zumba dance regularly,  as almost every muscle of your body moves during the dance workout and your core has to work continuously to stabilize the body.  

#4 Control/Decrease Blood Pressure

Regulates blood pressure

Obesity makes one, more vulnerable to high blood pressure. The more your body weight increases, the more you will likely catch hypertension (high blood pressure). Even a small amount of weight loss can make a significant difference in the risk of getting hypertension. Since Zumba dance helps reduce weight, they are among the best ways to control/decrease blood pressure.

#5 Psychological Benefits

Psychological benefits

Zumba also has psychological benefits. It is a fun workout. Since you will be focusing on music and your steps during the Zumba dance workout, you will most likely forget all your tension. This will reduce mental pressure and help relieve stress. While working out, the body releases endorphins, and endorphins make one happy! Zumba will also make you more active socially. All the workouts are performed in groups. Hence, you can easily interact with other people around you. 

#6 Workout Entire Body

While people do take the help of a routine choreography, there is no right or wrong way to do Zumba. The prime focus for anyone who participates is to move their body as quickly and swiftly as possible. This requires movement throughout the body. Put simply, Zumba dance gives a workout to your entire body.

#7 Improves Metabolism

Digestive Health

The entire body workout and general health benefits of Zumba help improve your metabolism. The workout enhances your blood circulation, thereby improving your metabolism and immunity.

#8 Long-term Engagement

Harder than starting any form of exercise is to continue doing it. The results you get out of any workout routine is how much dedication and consistency you show. Traditional workouts can become a bore if you are not a fitness freak. However, Zumba, on the other hand, is a fun exercise to do. This helps you keep engaged for a more extended period for better results.

Zumba dance classes during this pandemic? Well, it’s possible only with Healthify Studio! Click here to know more.

Zumba dance offers several benefits, but it’s not all pluses. Along with the advantages, you also need to be aware of the disadvantages of Zumba. Here are some of the cons of Zumba dance.

#1 May Suffer Dehydration

Zumba has a quick routine to follow. You will move almost every muscle in your body while performing the Zumba dance. This will cause a lot of sweating, and a lot of movement with little breaks, leading to dehydration if you don’t drink enough water while dancing.

#2 Hard to Learn and Remember

Zumba dance is inspired by Latin dance styles that need coordination and rhythm. Hence, it can be challenging to perform. Also, the routine is fast and makes remembering the steps a challenge for you. This can lead to wrong movements that can be risky for your bones and muscles.

#3 Does not Improve Muscle Strength

Zumba dance is undoubtedly one of the best ways to improve your aerobic endurance, but it does not provide much benefit in terms of muscle strength. You need weighted exercises to gain strength.

An effective Zumba dance routine will help you to tone your body efficiently. But,  it is imperative to understand that Zumba alone will not get you in shape. Hence, you should opt for a  routine that involves both Zumba dance and traditional strength exercises. A combined routine will help improve your overall fitness, which in turn will help you to lead a long and healthy life. So, if you love dancing and are looking to get back into shape, join a Zumba fitness program. Keep dancing and keep enjoying it!x

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7 Effective Yoga Asanas that will Help with Diabetes

Yoga is essential to keep you healthy both mentally and physically and you might already know that. But do you know, doing it without the right guidance may not bring about the results you expect? There are specific categories, and today we explore yoga for diabetes. Disease like diabetes should not be taken lightly. You have to take proper care of your body to combat diabetes, in terms of diet, lifestyle, and exercise. Therefore yoga is not just a type of workout, it is something your body requires for the advancement of your better living. So if your concern is how to do yoga for diabetes, here are 7effective yoga asanas.  

Table of Contents

7 Yoga Asanas That Will Help With Diabetes 

#1 Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar)

sun salutations

While talking about yoga for diabetes, the first pose that is extremely beneficial for diabetic patients is sun salutations. It is a perfect way to get your heart rate up and stretch your entire body. Moreover, sun salutations are a favorable warm-up before you do any asana or just go for a walk. You can also find variations in sun salutations. Sun salutations improve blood sugar level, blood circulation, and straighten your body. It manages the insulin in your body. 

Process: 

  1. Stand straight at the front of your mat, keep your abdomin pulled in, and join your palms together. Inhale while raising your hands and stretch your hands to the backside. Exhale and go forward, lengthen your spine, and slowly go all the way down. Look down and relax your neck. 
  2. Inhale and take your right leg back with your right knee on the floor. Ensure that your left knee is at the 90° angle and your palms are flat on the floor. Look straight with your head. Hold your breath from this position and take your left leg back, and come to a plank position. 
  3. Keep your body in one straight line. Exhale and get your knees down, get your chest and chin down. And get your hips down slowly. Inhale and slowly raise your upper body, and look up with your head. Then, exhale when you lift. Get your body into the inverted V pose. Your heels and palms should be on the floor, and then, try to lengthen your spine. 
  4. Get your right leg forward while inhaling. Get your left leg in front of your body and  exhale. Bend down and touch your toes, then place your palms on the floor, and stretch. Inhale, raise your hands, stretch your back, exhale, and join your palms together. 
  5. Repeat with the left side.  

Practice Sun Salutations for 4 to 8 rounds slowly. 

#2 Lying Down Body Twist (Folded leg Lumbar stretch)

The lying down body twist is the second favorite when it comes to yoga for diabetes. It mainly stresses massaging the internal organs and improving digestion. Though this pose forces on abdominal organs, it can help in lowering blood sugar levels.  

Process: 

  1. Lay down flat on your back, extend your arms sideways by your palms facing down. 
  2. Bring your left knees up at the level of your chest and bend it over the right side. Try to bring your knee at the hip level. 
  3. Stay in this pose for 30 seconds and repeat with the opposite side. 

#3 Bow Pose (Dhanurasana) 

Bow pose is a cure to fatigue. It strengthens your abdominal muscles, reduces constipation, and helps in regulating the pancreas. It is high in recommendations to balance the blood sugar level. 

Process: 

  1. Lie down on your stomach with your feet slightly apart, almost parallel to your hips, and place your arms on the side of your body.
  2. Slowly, fold your knees up and hold your ankles with your hands.
  3. Breathe in and lift your chest off the ground and pull your legs up and stretch it out. You should feel the stretch on your arms and thighs.
  4. Hold the pose for 12-15 seconds, paying attention to your breath as you take long, deep ones.
  5. Slowly bring your chest and legs back to the ground, release your hold on the ankles, and relax with your hands on the side. Repeat for a few sets.

#4 Seated-forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)

If you want to practice a therapeutic approach in terms of yoga for diabetes, here is the one yoga asana for you. Seated forward bend is an excellent option for people with diabetes. It controls diabetes, reduces blood pressure, and balances insulin levels in your blood. People also love this pose because it helps in weight loss. Besides, it can relieve stress, fatigue, headache, and anxiety. 

Process:  

  1. Sit down and extend your legs straight. 
  2. Inhale and pull your hands up. 
  3. Bring your hands down and try to touch your toes with your hands without bending your knees. 
  4. Touch your chin to your chest. 
  5. Remain in the pose for 60 seconds with normal breathing.    

#5 Legs up the wall (Viparita Karani)

To stimulate your pancreas and get your internal organs together, legs up the wall makes a significant impact on your diabetes. It reduces stress, controls blood pressure, and lowers blood sugar levels. Additionally, it is an ideal pose for relaxation as it boosts circulation and energy levels.  

Process: 

  1. Get a towel, fold it, and sit on it alongside the wall. 
  2. Lay on your back and bring your legs up, and create a 90° angle while touching the wall. 
  3. Relax your head, neck, throat, and chin.
  4. Stretch your arms and keep your palms facing upwards. 
  5. Stay in this pose for 5-10 minutes. 
  6. Post that, slide down your legs slowly.  

Repeat on the other side. 

#6 Bhujangasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)

bhujangasana

When your triceps brachii, spinal extensors, and quadriceps muscles work together, it enhances muscle strength. Then, it ultimately lowers blood pressure and blood sugar. It helps improve posture and is mild therapy for asthma patients. 

Process: 

  1. Lie on your abdomen and keep your legs straight. 
  2. Keeping your forearms perpendicular to the floor, place your arm on the floor beside the last ribcage. 
  3. Press your arms to lift your body. 
  4. Create pressure on your feet and firmness in your hips. 
  5. Look straight and hold the position for 30-40 seconds with normal breathing.

#7 Corpse Pose (Shavasana) 

savasana

Corpse pose is the final step in yoga for diabetes. You may start with any yoga asana, but you must finish with a corpse pose. It has definite impacts on lowering blood sugar, balancing blood pressure, calming your body and mind. It will take your body to a meditative stage where you will no longer be able to feel stress. Moreover, it is a traditional way to finish your yoga session. 

Process: 

  1. Lay down straight, spread your feet a bit wider, and keep your arms in a rest position. 
  2. Create a Y shape with your body by aligning your torso in a straight line. 
  3. Feel your breath, hands, legs, feet, palms, abdomen, eyes, ears, and every part of your body. 
  4. Release the stress and relax. 
  5. Hold this position for 15-20 minutes.

Summary

Yoga can be a lifestyle for some people and a way to keep the body and mind healthy for others. Experts believe in yoga for diabetes management. If you are skeptical about it, do give it a try, and see the results for yourself. However, it demands complete commitment from your side and your lifestyle choices. If you are serious about keeping your health on top, follow this guide based on yoga for diabetes. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Is yoga beneficial for diabetes patients?

A. Yes, yoga can be extremely beneficial for diabetes patients. If you cannot do all the yoga poses, just pick any 4 out of those mentioned above. And keep practicing regularly.

Q. Does yoga help in balancing blood sugar levels permanently?

A. Yes, yoga can help you in balancing the blood sugar level permanently. Yet, it is imperative you practice yoga regularly. If you cannot give one hour to yoga, at least do it for 30 minutes daily.

Q. What is the best pose of yoga for diabetes?

A. The best yoga pose for diabetic patients is Sun Salutations. If you practice 10 to 12 rounds of Sun Salutations, it will gradually help you to fight diabetes along with regular Pranayama like Nadi suddhi pranayama & Bhramari Pranayama.

Q. How does yoga affect diabetes?

A. Yoga stretches your body, stresses your muscles, and relaxes your body. It gets your internal abdominal organs together that helps in maintaining the blood sugar level.

Q. Can yoga cure type 2 diabetes?

A. Yoga poses are a cure for type 1 diabetes. Whereas in the case of type 2 diabetes, it prevents the development of rejuvenating pancreatic cells. When yoga asanas stretches your pancreas, it helps in balancing the insulin production. And that eventually prevents type 2 diabetes.

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9 Effective Yoga Asanas that Help Relieve Headaches

Yoga is an age-old practice that involves working on the body, mind, breath, and spirit together. Long before any medicines were used for treatment, yoga was used as a method to keep the body in pristine health. Today, yoga is being advocated as a natural option to control conditions ranging from arthritis and rheumatism to blood pressure, diabetes, and thyroid. In this article, we will be focusing on the practice of yoga for headache.

Yoga Asanas to Relieve Headaches

Yoga works on restoring balance and harmony within the body. It aims at removing stiffness and tension and improves blood circulation to all parts. The flow of oxygen is another vital element that yoga primarily focuses on. Therefore, when performing any asana, remember to do it in a calm state of mind and unhurried fashion. Most importantly, remember to focus on your breathing at all times. Don’t be fooled by the long names. You will often find yoga asanas with names that are hard to pronounce because like the yogic practice itself, the names have been in Sanskrit. When you understand the asana or pose, you will find that it is, in fact, effortless to perform. Here we bring you a set of 9 yoga asanas that can help to calm and relax your body and help relieve your headaches instantly. 

#1 Padangusthasana 

Padangusthasana

Padangusthasana is among the most basic poses in practice. When learning yoga, this is one of the first exercises that are taught. 

To perform this pose, 

  1. Stand with your feet slightly apart. 
  2. Now bend forward slowly at the waist all the way to the bottom, and hold the big toe of each foot with your hand. 

This pose requires a considerable amount of flexibility, so do not worry if you cannot go all the way down. To start with, bend your knees slightly, or simply go as low as your body allows you to.

Benefits

This pose helps increase the blood flow to the brain. With more oxygen and blood in the brain, you are certain to experience immediate relief from your headache.

 #2 Marjariasana

Marjariasana

This asana is called the cat pose. 

For this pose, 

  1. Get down on your knees, and place your palms on the floor. 
  2. Stretch your feet out behind you, and ensure your back is straight, in a position parallel to the floor. This is your starting position. 
  3. Now arch your back, pulling yourself upwards and away from the floor. 
  4. Pull as high as you can, and drop your head slightly. 
  5. Hold, and release the asana. 

You could also do the converse once you are back in the starting position. Arch the other way, bringing your back toward the ground and lifting your head towards the ceiling. When you Inhale look up and arch the back and when you exhale look down towards the chest. This is a variation of the asana that can also be performed in alternate repetitions. 

Benefits

This pose stretches the back and neck well, relieving tension and stress. It is also a good pose to help improve blood circulation. 

#3 Ardha Pincha Mayurasana

Ardha Pincha Mayurasana

The more common name for this asana is the dolphin pose or the peacock pose (the name Mayura means peacock, and pincha means feather). 

To begin this asana, 

  1. You need to have your hands and knees on the floor. 
  2. Your forearm should be placed firmly on the floor, ensuring your elbows and shoulders are all in a straight line. 
  3. Now lift off, making sure your back and hips come off the ground. Your head should be on the ground, tucked between your elbows. 
  4. Remember, at this stage, your forearms, head, and feet are the only parts of your body in contact with the ground. 

This pose, to the onlooker, resembles an inverted form of the letter ‘V’. Hold this pose for a few seconds, and slowly come back to your starting position.

Benefits

This pose gives the body a very good stretch and relaxes it fully. It also helps improve the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain and is among the best yoga exercises for headaches.

#4 Balasana

Balasana

The child pose is an easy asana to perform. 

To perform this asana,

  1. Sit down on your knees. 
  2. Stretch your thighs, and let your bottom rest on your feet. 
  3. Now lower your body to the floor until your head touches the ground. You will notice your head drop close to your knees. 
  4. Stretch your arms out toward your feet and hold this position for a few counts. Now release and come back to the starting position slowly. 

Benefits

This exercise is great for those with anxiety and stress since it calms the body and also helps reduce pain in the body. It improves blood circulation toward the head region.

#5 Supta Virasana

Supta Virasana

This yoga posture is known to improve restoration. It helps better our breathing. It helps strengthen the arches of the foot. 

To perform this pose, 

  1. Sit down on your knees and let your buttocks touch the floor. 
  2. Place your feet fully on the floor, and let them face outwards. 
  3. Do not rest your bottom on your legs. 
  4. Now gently lower your body using the support of your hands and lie down on the floor. 
  5. Let your legs maintain their position and feel the stretch. Now take your hands over your head and form a namaste pose. 
  6. Your hands, head, and feet must all be on the floor. 

Ensure you feel every part of your body stretch out completely. 

Benefits

This asana harmonizes the body beautifully, restoring balance almost immediately. The stretch helps release tension and reduces anxiety and headache almost instantly.

#6 Paschimottanasana

Paschimottanasana

This is a fairly easy pose to execute, although it does require a certain amount of flexibility. This is also called a forward bend.

To practice this pose,

  1. Sit comfortably on your exercise mat, keeping your legs stretched straight. 
  2. Now Inhale and raise your hands up and slowly lower your body till your head drops down onto your knees. 
  3. Try and curl your hands around your toes, or clasp both hands together around your feet. 
  4. Keep this position held for a few counts before you raise yourself into the starting position. 

Benefits

This is an amazing exercise for people who experience headaches triggered by stress and anxiety.

#7 Setu Bandhasana 

Setu Bandhasana

Most people know this exercise as the bridge pose. It helps in stretching the body and improves blood circulation. 

To start off, 

  1. Lie down on your back, with your knees bent and feet touching the floor. 
  2. Keep your hands on your side, parallel to your body. 
  3. Breathe in and out deeply. 
  4. Now lift your back and thighs off the floor, so that only your head, neck, and feet continue to maintain contact with it. 
  5. Hold this pose for a few counts, breathing in and out in a relaxed manner. 
  6. Lower slowly and come back to the starting position.

You will notice that the arch of your torso and thighs give the impression of a wide bridge; this is where the pose gets its name. 

Benefits

This is a very calming pose. The stretch in the body helps relax it, while the breathing helps steady the mind. Through this, you will find a lot of the tension in the body start to dissipate and feel stress and anxiety reduce significantly.

#8 Viparita Karani

Viparita Karani

For this asana, 

  1. Lie down flat and place your arms by your side.
  2.  Now put your hands on your hips and slowly raise your legs at your waist. 
  3. Lift off as high as you can, firmly keeping your shoulders placed on the floor. 

Although this seems difficult, your body will be well-supported by your neck, shoulders, and arms. Hold this position for a few counts and lower gently.

Benefits

This is a very calming exercise that helps bring about control and balance within the body. It is great to relieve tension and headaches.

#9 Shavasana

savasana

This is among the most common yoga poses since it follows every workout. This is the ultimate cool-down for anybody.

You can start off by,

  1. The pose requires you to lie on your back and with your arms and legs a comfortable distance apart. 
  2. With your eyes closed, you need to lie in this posture for a few moments, focusing only on your breath. 

Your mind is meant to be clear of all thoughts.

Benefits

This is a highly energizing and invigorating exercise that helps you deal with stress, aches, and pains. Maybe this is all you needed to cure the headache, after all!

Summary

Yoga has been designed to restore balance in the body and bring about physical, mental, and emotional harmony. Regularly practising yoga is the ideal solution to not just curing ailments, but preventing them from recurring as well. This is a wonderful practice for people of all ages and types. Ensure you get your dose of goodness every day!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Are there any side effects when performing yoga for a headache?

A. Yoga doesn’t usually have any side effects. There is also a minimal chance of suffering injuries while doing yoga. However, if you have any severe ailments or are pregnant, consult your doctor before you begin.

Q. Are there any rules for performing yoga?

A. Yoga is an inclusive practice that is easy to follow by everyone and requires almost no equipment. However, all proponents of yoga advise that it be practiced on an empty stomach, and preferably when the bowels have been emptied too. It is best to give the body at least three hours after a meal before you do your exercises.

Q. When is the best time to do yoga for a headache?

A. Yoga can be practiced almost any time, although its best perks can be experienced when it is done early in the morning. With yoga for headache, it is ideal that you do your exercises in the morning so that your body is fresh, and also so it feels strong and prevents headaches from occurring throughout the day.

Q. How long should I do yoga for a headache?

A. A yoga routine should be at least thirty minutes long, including your breathing exercises, warm up asanas and Shavasana. If you have less time, you could choose the most essential asanas for the day, but do ensure that you practice for at least twenty minutes for it to work. Prayama also plays an important role in headaches. Nadi Suddhi pranayama can be done for 7 times along the complete routine.

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9 Must-try Chest Exercises for Building Muscle

Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy diet is the key to getting those killer looking chest muscles. No matter how tempting junk food may look, you must avoid it as much as possible. Nothing can ruin your fitness goals the way junk food does. Chest exercises sculpt and define your chest and give you the confidence to look good.  Along with improving your look and strength, these exercises lift your mood as well! Working on the chest means working on the pectoral muscles of the body, commonly known as the pecs. The pectoral muscles are one of the largest in the upper body. Other muscles of the upper body include the trapezius, shoulders, and the latissimus dorsi. Along with working on the pectoral muscles, you must work on these as well.

9 Most Effective Exercises for the Chest

#1 Straight Arm Plank

straight arm plank

One of the best exercises for the chest, the straight arm plank focuses on the entire upper body. By the end of this exercise, your chest, shoulders, abdomen, and hips may all start burning. To get into the position, lie down on your stomach with palms placed on the floor, by the side of your chest. Raise your body and come up to a regular push up position. Make sure your shoulders and elbows are on the same line. Also, make sure your lower back is neither arched or rounded. Maintain a straight line from head to toe. If you are a beginner, this may seem like a difficult exercise. So, you can hold the plank position for about 10-15 seconds. Once you get comfortable with this exercise, you can increase it to 30-60 seconds. Depending on how comfortable you are with it, you can do that many sets. For beginners, two sets of 10-15 seconds are good.

Benefits: The plank exercise helps strengthen your upper body muscles and your spine which makes your posture stronger.

#2 Chest Fly

chest fly

This is one of the go-to exercises for the chest. The exercise focuses on creating tension to help define the chest. You will require a few light weights or dumbbells for this exercise. To get into the position, lie down on your back on a flat bench with dumbbells in each hand. Hold the dumbbells above your chest with palms facing each other. Open the dumbbells wide and lower your arms slowly until the elbows are parallel to the floor. Do not go too deep with the arm movement. Raise the dumbbells back up to the starting position, squeezing your chest muscles. Make sure to maintain a slight bend in your elbows throughout the movement. If you are a beginner, you can start by doing 12 – 15 reps in one set with a light weight. As you get comfortable with this exercise, you can increase the weight as per your convenience.

Benefits: The chest fly exercise helps build and strengthen your pectoral muscles. It also helps strengthen your anterior deltoids.

#3 Cable Fly

cable fly

The cable fly is another go-to exercise for the definition and enhancement of the pectoral muscles. Adding this exercise to your chest workout will give your pectoral muscles a new stimulus. Take two stirrup handles and attach them to the high-pulley cable of a cable-crossover station. Stand in the middle of the station and grab a stirrup handle in each hand. Keep your arms stretched but in a slightly bent position. Slightly lean forward at your hips.  Without changing the position of your arms,  bring your arms together in front of the chest. Slowly return back to the starting position. A cable fly can be done for 12-15 Reps with light weight.  Once you get comfortable with the exercise, increase the weights accordingly. 

Benefits: The cable fly exercise helps create consistent tension in the upper muscles, thus stimulating the pectoral muscles throughout the range of motion.

#4 Band Chest Fly

The band chest fly is not much different from the cable fly, but the bands make it an easy exercise for home chest workouts. For this exercise, you will need to attach two bands to a base, such as a pole or a tower. Make sure the base you have chosen is stable. Grab the two ends of the band with each hand. Keep your arms stretched but in a slightly bent position. Slightly lean forward at your hips.  Without changing the position of your arms,  bring your arms together in front of the chest. Slowly return back to the starting position. 

Benefits: The band chest fly is an excellent exercise that focuses on strengthening the chest muscles. 

#5 Dumbbell Floor Press

dumbbell floor press

You need not worry if you do not have a bench. You can do the dumbbell press exercise on the floor as well. It is one of the easiest home exercises for the chest. All you will need is a pair of dumbbells. To do this exercise, lay back on the floor. Make sure your feet are flat on the floor. Grab the dumbbells in each hand and hold it up above the chest. To keep your shoulders safe, keep your elbows at an angle of 45 degrees from your body. Slowly lower the dumbbells by bending the elbows. Once the elbows touch the floor, press the dumbbells up by squeezing the chest muscles. If you are a beginner, you can do 15-20 reps in one set with light weights. As you get comfortable with this exercise, you can increase the weights accordingly. 

Benefits: The dumbbell floor press exercise helps build muscle mass. It also reduces the amount of stress placed on the shoulder joints.

#6 Plyometric Pushup

Plyometric Pushup

Push-ups may sound like an easy exercise for many, but plyometric push-ups are not. The plyometric push-up -also known as explosive or power push up – is good for improving the power and strength of your chest muscles. To do the plyometric push-ups, get into the push-up position. Make sure your body is in a straight line from head to the toe. Lower your chest to the floor as you would for a regular push up. Then, press up explosively so that your hands come off the floor.  Repeat the movement in a controlled manner. You can try to do 5-6 plyometric pushups in one set.  

Benefits: The plyometric push up helps build muscle, increase strength and power as well.  It also enhances core stability. 

#7 Suspension Push-up

Suspension Push-up

Performing the suspension push-ups work your core and chest harder than doing pushups on the ground. These pushups can be done at home using the TRX straps. Grab the handles of the TRX strap in both hands.  Keep your body at an angle of 45 degrees from the floor with arms held straight and slightly wider than shoulder-width apart distance. Make sure that your body is in a straight line from your head to toe.  Brace your core and slowly lower the chest towards the floor by bending the elbows. Press back up to the starting position. 

Benefits: This exercise is an advanced version of the traditional pushups. It helps strengthen the chest, shoulder, and triceps. It engages the core of the body throughout the range of motion, thereby strengthening the core muscles.

#8 Incline Dumbbell Bench Press

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press

One of the best exercises for the chest, incline dumbbell bench press, works on the upper chest muscles along with the anterior deltoids and triceps. Lay on a bench that is inclined at an angle of 45 degrees. Hold the dumbbells by the side of your chest.  Your feet should be flat on the floor. Avoid arching your back and try to keep the core tight. Press the dumbbells up and close directly above your shoulders. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position. 

Benefits: The incline dumbbell bench press focuses on building the upper pectoral muscles.

#9 Decline Dumbbell Bench Press

Decline Dumbbell Bench Press

This exercise helps build your lower chest muscle. To get into the position for a decline dumbbell bench press, lay down on your back. Lock your feet beneath the leg support. Hold the dumbbells by the side of your chest. Avoid arching your back and try to keep the core tight. Press the dumbbells up and close directly above your chest. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position. 

Benefits: This exercise works on the lower pectoral muscles. It also strengthens the anterior deltoid and triceps

Summary

If you are a beginner and want to add these exercises to your routine,  go with how much your body can take in. If you try to push your body too much, you may end up with injuries. Figure out which chest exercises work best for you. As you start getting used to the exercises, you can slowly increase the weights and the number of sets you do. But make sure you follow your workout routine regularly. For more such guided exercises, check out Healthify Studio. 

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