Tag Archives: workout

5 Healthy Ideas to Try This Week

Every January all of us make resolutions, many of which center around health and fitness. The problem with these resolutions is, we have the big picture but not the steps to achieve them and so they ultimately fall by the wayside. This year, we at Beaming Health Magazine decided to share a few tips to help you stay on the road to good health and fitness. So, plunge right in and do let us know which ones worked for you. 

  • Let the Winter Olympics inspire you to reconnect with a childhood game. Be it hockey, tennis, basketball, swimming or even just running free.
  • Discuss an issue that has been creating undue stress for you with someone you can rely on. Then work on eliminating or at least minimizing the source of that stress 
  • Eat one green meal every week. Be it an exotic one or a simple and delicious homemade one, the focus is on including as much raw plant-based food as possible in that meal
  • Switch off all electronic devices an hour before you go to sleep and read a book instead. This includes all computers, phones and the television
  • Spend five minutes in the morning doing a few, simple stretching or deep breathing exercises before you start your day. The quality of transition time, from sleep to alertness will make a difference to the quality of your day

Make these small changes in your weekly routine and soon you’ll be thanking us.

About the Author:

Niranjani is an entrepreneur and blogger who believes that good quality, affordable healthcare should be available to all. She occasionally puffs and pants her way through a 10k race to feel fit, despite her chaotic life.

Photo Credit: Image 1

Copyright 2014 (c) Primex Scans and Labs. Please do not reproduce this article in its entirety without permission. Alternatively, a link to this URL would be appreciated.

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15 Minute Workouts – The Pajama Workouts

Sleep late, get-up early, make and pack multiple meals, get to work, work 12 hours, meet friends/do homework with the kids, cook dinner, tidy-up the house, do the laundry and drop exhausted into bed.

Given that most of us have a routine close to this, where do we find the time and most importantly the energy to workout. We know it’s important, we make New Year resolutions, frequently start off on fitness plans, however, within four weeks most of us are back to square one.

Now, how would you like to spend just 15 minutes in your bedroom getting fit. It can even be, or should I say it must be, in your pajamas. Trust me, it is possible and it does give results. This week we’ll start with the all time favourite of children and sportsmen – skipping or jump rope exercises. Here’s what you do:

  • Set the jump rope and comfortable workout shoes, next to your bed, the previous night
  • Wake-up 10 minutes earlier than usual and slip on your footwear
  • Do 2 minutes of stretching exercises
  • Jump rope for about 10 minutes
  • Take a minute to cool down
  • Stretch again for 2 minutes
  • You are done! Now go take a shower

A few points to keep in mind, to make sure you really benefit from this effort:

  • 100 -120 counts a minute should be your target (apparently 10 minutes of this is equal to 30 minutes of mid-paced running)
  • Start with 5 minutes on the first day and build-up
  • Your heart rate should be up for 7 out of the 10 minutes, at a minimum
  • Most important, check with your doctor before starting any new fitness or diet routine

Follow this religiously (maybe even twice a day), along with a simple diet change, and see the results in 90 days. You will be amazed and addicted. The best part – no expensive equipment, clothes or gym membership required.

Our workout series aims to help you figure out the right fitness regime for your body and mind. As part of this series, we previously  covered: cyclingswimmingrowingrunning, a guide to picking the right shoe, a three-week campaign to get you out on the road and how to mentally condition yourself to get going.

About the Author:

Niranjani is an entrepreneur and blogger who believes that good quality, affordable healthcare should be available to all. She occasionally puffs and pants her way through a 10k race to feel fit, despite her chaotic life.

Photo Credit: Image 1

Copyright 2014 (c) Primex Scans and Labs. Please do not reproduce this article in its entirety without permission. Alternatively, a link to this URL would be appreciated.

Cycling Nirvana – The Workout Series

Cycling (any ride that lasts over an hour) is on the up globally, as well as in India, and for good reason. More people are aspiring to get into shape for different reasons and cycling is often preferred over other activities, such as running as there is less impact on the body, particularly the back and legs. That being said, cycling can cause it’s share of problems, if the rider has an incorrect posture or if the saddle (seat) is not at the optimum height and angle.

One of the first things to figure out before starting cycling is the kind of equipment you want and this is where a lot of aspiring cyclists doubt their interest levels. Unlike swimming, where one basically needs a good suit, goggles and cap; cycling can drive you to despair with the choices you have to make. In recent years, the availability of cycles has increased dramatically and a good one can set you back quite a bit, so it’s important to make a good choice.

Most cycles are either made of aluminium, alloy metals and at the higher end, carbon fiber. The weight goes down dramatically with a carbon fiber cycle, which potentially increases riding speed. Here are the broad categories of cycles available today, which are mostly terrain dependent:

  • Road – A road bike or ‘roadie’ can be identified by its handlebars and the thickness of the tyre. Roadies have dropped handlebars which give riders a more aggressive posture. The other identifier is that, road bikes have thin tires usually ranging from 20-25 mm. A thing to note is that the thinner the tire, the faster it is because of reduced rolling resistance, though there are some tests which show that 25 mm tires are faster than 23 mm tires (but that’s a discussion for another day).
  • Hybrid – Hybrids can be identified again by the handlebars and tires. The handlebars of a hybrid are straight, while the tires are fatter than those of roadies and are usually between 28-34 mm. If you are a newbie, it is probably best to pick up a hybrid first before graduating on to a road bike, if ever.
  • MTB ­– Multi-terrain Bikes are the ones with straight handlebars and the rugged looking tires. If you are a newbie to cycling beware of getting this cycle unless you specifically want to do off-roading. Legions of new cyclists have bought MTBs because of the rough-and-tough look but since they are relatively more difficult to ride on roads (fatter tires have higher rolling resistance), they are quickly put in the closet only to make a brief reappearance to fulfil a New Year’s resolution.

It is critical that a prospective cyclist buy the correct cycle size (depends on the rider’s height) because it could have an adverse impact on the body, as well as ride quality. Most cycles in the market are geared though there are a few ungeared bikes for the brave ones. Gear changing is usually specific to cycle brands but the rule of thumb is that the lower gears are for inclines and the higher gears are for straights and descents. The front and rear gears can be used together, but beware of getting your gears crossed (high front gear to low rear gear and vice-versa).  

The Musts

Buying a cycle is only the start and there is a laundry list of critical items to have. The helmet, water bottles, saddle bag, puncture kit, tool kit, spare tire tube, air pump, sunglasses, front and rear lights and, of course, proper cycling apparel are crucial. There are also specialized cycling shoes (used with special pedals) but for a newbie, regular running shoes with regular pedals will do just fine. One should also have degreasers, greasers and other cleaning products to ensure that the cycle, as well as, the drive-train is kept clean. There are other accessories like cycling computers, however, one must watch out since the want list can get very long and very expensive.

Do’s and Dont’s

As you start cycling you will obviously get a better feel what to watch out for, however here are some pointers to start you off:

  • Avoid urban areas – Motorists in India unfortunately rank low on civic sense and do not care for cyclists. You and the cycle are fragile and there is no point to risking your life. Go out of the city and discover how nice it is to cycle in low traffic roads, not to mention less polluted areas.
  • Ride in groups – Riding in a group is just common sense, as it is just safer for you. On a personal note, beyond safety, I have made a number of good friends among the cyclists I ride with.
  • Hydration – Given that India is a hot country, you are more often likely to sweat a lot during your ride. Sweating means your body is losing critical fluids and we need to keep replenishing them. Drink water even if you are not feeling thirsty. The rule of thumb is to drink anywhere from 500 -750 ml of water an hour but that depends on climatic conditions and body weight. Also make sure you drink water (300 – 400 ml) before the start of your ride. One should mix electrolytes with water to replenish minerals being lost; low electrolyte count can lead to cramping. The best electrolytes products are the ones you can get at medical shops; avoid sports drinks because they are essentially sugar water.
  • Carbohydrates – Carbs have become such a dirty word and if you plan to exercise while having a low-carb diet you are done for. Carbs are the primary energy source during exercise and it is critical to ensure that the body has an adequate supply of it. If you are planning to do a ride that is over 3 hours, ensure that you have an elevated carb diet on the previous day. Be sure to carry energy bars during your rides – cycling burns calories real fast and not having an energy source can be debilitating.
  • Start slow – Know your limits. If you are newbie you should be comfortable doing short rides before graduating to longer ones. The effort needed as one rides longer is non-linear.
  • Stretch before riding – Like any exercise, it is paramount to stretch before cycling. A list of useful stretching exercises can be found here.
  • Stay safe – Always wear your helmet while riding – your life depends on it. Be extra defensive while riding your cycle. After all you don’t want to go head-on with a larger vehicle. Watch out for Curious George’s who pull their vehicles close to the cycle to have a look at the cycle.
  • Enjoy yourself – Make this enjoyable, something you’ll want to do for the rest of your life, not another chore to tick off on the weekends.

Our workout series aims to help you figure out the right fitness regime for your body and mind. Now we want you to get your whole family in on it. As part of this series, we previously covered: swimmingrowingrunning, a guide to picking the right shoe, a three-week campaign to get you out on the road and how to mentally condition yourself to get going.

About the Author:

Sunil Rongala is based in Hyderabad and can often be seen tackling the hilly terrain outside the city on the weekends. He loves his life even more since he discovered cycling and plans to continue enjoying this sport for as long as possible.

Photo Credit: Image 1

Copyright 2013 (c) Primex Scans and Labs. Please do not reproduce this article in its entirety without permission. Alternatively, a link to this URL would be appreciated.

Find out more at:

http://www.bikeszone.com/forum/

Family Fitness – Balloon Volleyball Sundays

It’s a well-known fact that it’s easier to teach kids with examples rather than through preaching. The same applies to lifestyle changes. Sitting around munching on a bag of chips and watching our favourite t.v. serial, while telling our little ones to go out and play, isn’t a great idea. They’ll most probably hide themselves away with an electronic gadget till we call them to start their homework or eat their next meal.

A simple way to make fitness a part of your lifestyle as a family and up the fun factor at the same time, is to introduce the concept of family fitness. There are multiple ways to do this and over the next few months we will introduce you to a few simple ideas to kick-start the process.

One game we enjoy as a family is balloon volleyball. I don’t know any children who don’t love balloons, even though many of them are terrified of the sound when one pops. I say balloons make dully dreary adults into children!

That being said, here’s our first activity for the family fitness program. Balloon Volleyball Sundays. Gather the family together, clear some space in a room, or make for the outdoors, and start playing.

Here’s what you’ll need (all available at most general stores):

A long piece of string or ribbon – for the net

Some tape – to secure the string

A pair of scissors – to cut the tape and string

A few balloons (obviously)

I have fond memories of my parents playing with my brother and me. Today it’s us with our little one. Fitness and a mental image of happiness, is as close to picture perfect as it gets.

So, this weekend ditch the afternoon movie and have fun being a child, with your children. Oh! and let us know if you have any family fitness ideas to share.

Our workout series aims to help you figure out the right fitness regime for your body and mind. Now we want you to get your whole family in on it. As part of this series, we previously covered: swimmingrowingrunning, a guide to picking the right shoe, a three-week campaign to get you out on the road and how to mentally condition yourself to get going.

About the Author:

Niranjani is an entrepreneur and blogger who believes that good quality, affordable healthcare should be available to all. She occasionally puffs and pants her way through a 10k race to feel fit, despite her chaotic life.

Photo Credit: Image 1

Copyright 2013 (c) Primex Scans and Labs. Please do not reproduce this article in its entirety without permission. Alternatively, a link to this URL would be appreciated.

Summer Recovery – Starting a Workout Routine

The summer’s over, the days are getting a bit cooler thanks to the rain and the mangoes are dwindling away from the markets. Everyone’s enjoyed a break, to some extent, from routine, especially when it comes to food and exercise. Initially, your activity levels may have been higher playing with the neighbourhood children on their summer break or travelling to a new or well-loved location, however, gradually the weight piles on, your skin gets dull and your hair looks lank. You obviously need to get back on track to be ready in time for the festival season. Well, don’t despair we have a simple and effective program to get your health back on track.

This week we start with fitness. Our five step Summer Recovery- Starting the Workout program will help you get started afresh or pick-up where you let off at the beginning of summer.

  • Pick a Realistic Time

The time you choose to workout should be comfortably available for you on a daily basis. Having competing commitments at the same time, will ensure that you drop the new routine within a few weeks or even few days because it’s just too much of a challenge in your already busy day.

  • Enlist a Reliable Friend

Rope in someone who will give you that wake-up call for a morning workout or call you on out on lazing in front of the television, instead of going for your evening run. Even better get a workout partner who you know will push you. When you know you have to report into someone on your effort or performance, you will be a lot more dedicated.

  • Choose an Activity You Enjoy

Your workout time is ‘me’ time, something that you are doing for your mental and physical health. Enjoying it ensures that you’ll look forward to it and want to do it every single day. A sure fire way to stick to your workout plan. Another option is to mix up the activities in your workout to keep it interesting. Enjoy the last bit of warm weather with a host of outdoor activities. Spend weekends going on picnics and playing some cricket or volleyball.

  • Make it a Priority

Your daily workout is as important as brushing your teeth every morning or having your main meal of the day. You need to tell yourself that’s a non-negotiable and essential activity. A good way to do this is to remind yourself about why you’ve chosen to start this regime. Make yourself stick to it for four weeks without a lapse and by the end of the month it’ll be a part of your regular routine.

  • Reward Yourself

While the obvious result of an effective and regular workout routine is a healthy body and mind in the long run, we all need some motivation to keep going. Choose a reward that does not affect your fitness and set it as a reward against the milestone of completing a month of regular workouts.

Use these smart but simple steps to get yourself back to your fittest and healthiest self and you’ll be ready to enjoy the rest of the year.

About the Author:

Niranjani is an entrepreneur and blogger who believes that good quality, affordable healthcare should be available to all. She occasionally puffs and pants her way through a 10k race to feel fit, despite her chaotic life.

Photo Credit: Image 1Image 2

Copyright 2013 (c) Primex Scans and Labs. Please do not reproduce this article in its entirety without permission. Alternatively, a link to this URL would be appreciated.

 

The Workout Series – Mind Over Matter

Most fitness enthusiasts I have meet or worked with, stress on one important factor which the rest of us (who consider our daily workout a necessary evil) miss. That simple but oft neglected factor is this, ‘When it comes to real performance, it’s a case of mind over matter’. Yes, your mental fitness is as important as, or maybe even more than, your physical fitness.

As Naresh, a regular contributor with us, and a fitness enthusiast who has been running and rowing for over 30 years says, “While running or rowing, after a point your muscles get used to the effort and then it’s only  a matter of convincing yourself that you can do it, and at times even fighting boredom or laziness”.

Now we are definitely not saying that to win a marathon, you can be a couch potato who just needs to believe he can run. Physical training is an obvious factor here as it helps us build strength and stamina while preventing injuries. The difference between making it a lifelong activity and a flash in the pan, or between enjoying a 42k marathon and dragging yourself through a 5k run, is in the mind. Mental conditioning is vital for success in any activity so why should it be any different for physical fitness.

So how what does mental conditioning comprise and how do you do it? The ‘what’ is pretty simple to identify and has three ingredients. First, you need to be 100% sure that you really ‘want’ to get fit and perform at a certain level. The reasons for this ‘want’ can be varied and don’t really matter as long as they are strong enough to motivate you. It could start with a desire to look your best at your wedding, or to improve your quality of life while having a stressful career or just another challenge because you are a competitive person by nature.

The second ingredient in mix is convincing yourself that you can do this (whatever your target). This self confidence is, in my limited opinion, the most important aspect, as motivators can change over time but the knowledge that you are capable of achieving a target is non-negotiable for success.

The last item in the pot is a strong filter when negating factors come into the picture, such as, pessimistic influences or easy out options. The former are easy to identify but the latter can slip past your defenses and though this ingredient may have a certain link to the previous two, ‘motivators” and ‘confidence’, it is not the same. Say you are training ardently for a month and it’s taking a bit longer to reach your milestones when you come across an advertisement promising the results, that you are working towards so diligently, in half the time. In such a case you don’t feel you are giving up but just switching to a more efficient plan. This is the reason I used the word filter and not blocker. There is absolutely nothing wrong with exploring options but the common mistakes to filter out are two.

One, switching too often makes you lose focus, which may result in you not completing any plan, however good, in the long run, which means you  have essentially failed to reach your target. Two, not all plans are as good as they sound and it’s important to do some research before spending time, money and effort on any one. The second reason I used the word filter is that we need to be open to factors such as illness or injuries, but not so susceptible that even the mention of one makes us fall of the treadmill. This ability to discriminate, while not giving into paranoia or laziness is definitely an element of mental fitness and is affected by both the motivators and the our confidence levels.

So having identified the ‘what’ factors, we now move on to the ‘how’. While, there is no exhaustive list on ways to build mental strength, there are a few simple, commonly used and effective methods that I’ll share with you in a three step program:

  • Note your Motivation: Make a note (or list, if applicable) of reasons why you want to do this. Read this note (list), maybe even frame it and put it up on your wall.
  • Plan: Plan out how you want to reach your target or hit your goal. The plan can be as detailed or simple as suits your requirement and work style, you may even drill down to the level of planning out days / hours / distance to be covered in a certain period of time. Ensure that the plan is realistic, with respect to timing and type pf activity,  given your personality and current lifestyle.
  • Meditate: I cannot stress the importance of this step enough. I know people who have not done anything else (not even the first two steps above) to strengthen themselves mentally, except meditate, and they are the best at what they do. Meditation will not just build mental strength but will reduce stress and increase your powers of concentration, leading to success in any activity you undertake, be it professional or recreational.

For those of you who are planning to start meditating for the first time, here are three tips:

  • Till you achieve a certain minimum level of concentration, make sure you practice in a quiet place, at a time when you have no immediate demands on your time. I usually spend half an hour before I go to bed, after the whole household has settled down for the night. Others prefer to do it in the morning, before they day starts, when and the world as a whole is still in a state of semi-slumber.
  • Practice everyday without fail. Calming and strengthening the mind is a simple process but one that requires regular effort. In the beginning even missing a day can make you lose your mojo, so don’t give yourself any leeway. Make it a part of your routine and as important as brushing your teeth (please don’t tell me if you don’t consider that important).
  • Enjoy the process, think of it as ‘me’ time. After all it’s supposed to help you relax, not create more stress by adding to your ‘to-do’ list.

So next time you plan to run a marathon or take part in a mixed doubles tennis competition*, remember it’s a case of ‘mind over matter’.

*Always check with your doctor before taking up any new physical activity.

About the Author:

Niranjani is an entrepreneur and blogger who believes that good quality, affordable healthcare should be available to all. She occasional puffs and pants her way through a 10k race to feel fit, despite her chaotic life.

Photo Credit: Image 1, Image 2

Copyright 2013 (c) Primex Scans and Labs. Please do not reproduce this article in its entirety without permission. Alternatively, a link to this URL would be appreciated.

The Workout Series – Swimming Zen

We are back with a new sport as part of our our workout series to help you figure out the right fitness regime for your body and mind. We previously covered rowing and running, with a guide to picking the right shoe and a three week campaign to get you out on the road. Now we bring you the lowdown on another outdoor activity to enjoy – swimming. 

Swimming is magical. No I’m serious. How you ask? Well, I’ll tell you exactly how. First when you immerse yourself in the water you are cut off from all outside stimuli, no sounds or sights that might distract you. The constant lapping of the water at your ears almost works as a system of involuntary meditation and your thoughts turn inwards. Second, the water bears the weight of your body, ensuring that even the heaviest of people or those with injuries can comfortably workout or just enjoy the water. Third, the natural resistance created by the water increases the quality of your workout without any extra equipment. All this, and more, with absolutely no conscious effort on your part! Now, tell me, that isn’t magic?

Now that I’ve convinced you about why you should swim, let’s move on to the how. For beginners, or those who have not confident about their technique, the safest way is to be trained by a certified professional in a controlled environment. Take no risks since the dangers of swimming are life-threatening and way more serious when compared to other sports. (This is the only real downside of this sport, in my limited opinion.) On the same lines, never swim if a qualified life-guard is not present and always respect the signals sent by your body, such as a sudden cramping sensation.

Coming back to the mechanics of swimming, the most important aspect is lung capacity and your breathing technique. Once you have mastered the right style of breathing and strengthened your lungs there is nothing stopping you from an Olympic medal except practice. Setting aside our visions of grandeur for now, we can start with the most common strokes:

Free Style: This is the simplest of strokes and the one most suited to beginners.  There are variations of this basic stroke as well, but the most common one is where the arms alternate underwater and overhead and the legs flutter (kick) up and down without bending the knees. This is also known as the survival stroke, as one can keep it up for hours if breathing correctly.

Back stroke: This is a relaxing stroke as you can choose to float more and just use your arms and legs for direction and occasional propulsion. Obviously, if you are actually swimming using the backstroke, the arms move in a backward windmill action and the legs do a flutter kick or deeper synchronized kicks.

Breast stroke: This stroke can be done with your head completely out of water or bobbing in and out for breathe. The calorie burn in this stroke is higher than both the back stroke and freestyle. The arms move in a synchronized in-out motion underwater, while the legs do a powerful frog kick.

There are numerous types of swim styles such as the butterfly stroke (which I have yet to master), which turn swimming into a performance art, however, to start with the three strokes discussed above are the simplest.

The next obvious question would be, ‘who can swim?’. Based on discussions with doctors specialising in sports injuries, athletes who have been swimming for years and my personal experiences over thirty years, it seems like anyone (and I mean that literally) can swim. You can be eighty, have a physical disability, be overweight and still comfortably swim everyday. Swimming is extremely easy on the joints, while building endurance, muscular strength and cardiovascular fitness.

The best part of swimming for a workout is that it brings a sense of freedom and fun into the experience. After all splashing about in water is most children’s favourite activity and who doesn’t want to relive their carefree childhood days? So go rediscover the simple joys of life, while getting fit and maybe spending some time with your family or visiting your zen place.

See you in the deep blue.

About the Author:

Niranjani is an entrepreneur and blogger who believes that good quality, affordable healthcare should be available to all. She occasional puffs and pants her way through a 10k race to feel fit, despite her chaotic life.

Photo Credit: Image 1, Image 2

Copyright 2013 (c) Primex Scans and Labs. Please do not reproduce this article in its entirety without permission. Alternatively, a link to this URL would be appreciated.

Back to Fitness: Week 2 Round-Up

So we are successfully into week 3 of the program, the most intensive and rewarding stretch. After the 36 minute workout on Friday and the family sports session on Saturday, did you relax with a meal at your favourite restaurant of Sunday?

This morning we seriously started running and I’m sure most of you have started experiencing the famous ‘runner’s high’. This adrenaline rush is addictive and beats any other I’ve known. Having said that, let’s jump right into today’s topic.

In the last round up we spoke about the various postures of Running. Let us today consider the finer aspects of ‘foot strike’. What is ‘strike’? ‘Strike’ refers to the landing of the foot during the motion of running. So where should the foot land and how? Is there any recommended style? Here are some answers.

Strike could happen in three different ways – fore-foot, mid-foot and heel. There is NO researched conclusive evidence yet to prove that one of these is the best and the most effective.

Our body adopts a pattern that best suits individual needs based on energy output, speed and body type. Foot strike patterns are natural and are attributes of human characteristics and the bio-mechanics/physiology of our body. At this juncture it is sufficient to note that 75 percent of runners are heel strikers. The percentage of fore-foot strikers is marginal. If you reach for the landing then you will strike with your heel. If you allow your feet to land under your body, then you will strike with your mid-foot.

So right now don’t worry about where you are striking – front, mid or heel. Leave that to your natural gait and “gravity”.  Here’s what you need to remember :

  • Relax your head and shoulders. They set the mood for the rest of your body. You will be surprised to see how the rest of the body reacts almost immediately and relaxes.
  • Take care of your knees. Do not ‘overstride’ or drive your knees up and forward. If you overstride you will be striking in front of your mass. Think of lifting your feet off the ground and striking under your body instead. This theory of Pose Running seems to work for most runners I know.
  • Eat right, hydrate yourself well with lots of water, and don’t forget your stretches before and after the routine.

Happy Running!

About the author:

Naresh is a fitness enthusiast who enjoys running, rowing and a multitude of outdoor sports. He also works in the healthcare industry and, at close to sixty years, is trying to create awareness of the concept of health through fitness.

Photo Credit: Image 1

Copyright 2012 (c) Primex Scans and Labs. Please do not reproduce this article in its entirety without permission. Alternatively, a link to this URL would be appreciated.

Back to Fitness: Week 1 Round-Up

We all know by now that whichever approach we take towards our health – preventive or post diagnoses – exercise is part of the prescription. So join us as we take the most important step on our way to a healthy lifestyle, getting back on the fitness track. It doesn’t matter if you have never actively worked out or have just taken a six-month hiatus due to general life pressures. This program will help all of us get off the couch and on a regular workout routine.  Here’s the starter article.

Great stuff, we are almost done with the first week. Today you must have upped your game with an increase in running versus walking time. This means we are actually starting to run, so here are some tips on running, which will make a big difference as you progress with the 21 Day Back to Fitness plan:

Head
Keep your head tilted down slightly. Look ahead 10-20 feet. Concentrate on running in a straight line. Relax your jaws and your neck.

Shoulders
Keep your shoulders relaxed and square. Do not hunch over as this will restrict your breathing passage and reduce oxygen flow to your working muscles.

The head and shoulders tell the complete story. Tension often originates in the head and shows up in the face neck and shoulders. Consciously relax your face, jaws, neck and shoulders. The relaxation will percolate down to your entire body.

Torso
Lean forward slightly from the waist. Open your chest and shoulders for effective breathing. Hit that balance.

Hips
Keep your hips in line with head and shoulders. Your leg should strike (hit ground) directly under your hips, which is your center of gravity.

Arms
Drop your arms. Relax. Keep it bent at about 90 degrees at your elbow. Again — relax, nice and easy. Swing your arms up and down, in tune with your legs, as you run. The faster you run the faster is the swing. Use the swing of your arm to propel yourself forward. Swing you arms upward chest high and on the downswing brush your waistband and bring them back behind your body. Keep it there and do not overdo. Make it nice and graceful. You will find it translating into an enjoyable run. Your arm movements will also decrease rotation of the torso while you run.

Hands
Cup your hand like you are holding an egg that you don’t want to break. The thumb should gently touch the top half of your index finger. Do not clench your fists or lift/drop your thumb. It will most likely cause stress and pain in your neck and shoulders. Don’t let your arms cross over to the other half of your body during the swing. Keep them to their respective sides.

That said, old habits die-hard. The style or pose that you have adopted is something that your body has found efficient for itself. Your brain has memorized it and that’s the style it will permit. Call it habit if you want. So if you need to change, do it one at a time and repeatedly so that your brain erases the old style and remembers the new one.

Now that your done with running for the week, enjoy your game on Saturday and relax with a nice movie on Sunday. Post your progress and let’s meet next week.

About the author:

Naresh is a fitness enthusiast who enjoys running, rowing and a multitude of outdoor sports. He also works in the healthcare industry and, at close to sixty years, is trying to create awareness of the concept of health through fitness.

Photo Credit: Image 1

Copyright 2012 (c) Primex Scans and Labs. Please do not reproduce this article in its entirety without permission. Alternatively, a link to this URL would be appreciated.

Call for Action – Back to Fitness in 21 Days

The very fact that you are reading this blog means that you are interested in figuring out a way to lead a healthy lifestyle, or maybe you are already there and are now on the lookout for new ideas. Over the last few months, we have posted various topics spanning health, fitness and nutrition. All these are aimed at helping you lead a healthy lifestyle that can be sustained lifelong. While we will continue to post articles on these topics, we would also like to take a proactive role in getting you on the path to good health. As part of our endeavor to promote ‘wellness’ to the society at large, we have designed a 21 day ‘back to fitness’ routine for those of you who are trapped in the sedentary lifestyle (that truth be told, has caught up with most of us today).

We all know by now that whichever approach we take towards our health – preventive or post diagnoses – exercise is part of the prescription. So join us as we take the most important step on our way to a healthy lifestyle, getting back on the fitness track. It doesn’t matter if you have never actively worked out or have just taken a six-month hiatus due to general life pressures. This program will help all of us get off the couch and on a regular workout routine. Now before you panic and think “I can’t do this” or sigh in frustration and write this off as another non-starter program, do finish reading this article.

For starters, we are not just posting the 21 day routine and stopping here. We are actually asking that you make the earnest start on Monday, October 22, 2012, along with our team. We will have daily updates on our Facebook page, as well as, a weekly follow-through here. This simple routine will get you ready for the 3.5 km run on Saturday, November 10, 2012, again along with our team. Trust me you will feel good at the end and the sense of satisfaction will be unbeatable.

So this weekend prepare for a ‘wellness’ program towards a healthy tomorrow. Refer to our list below to help you get ready and remember we are with you all the way.

Preparation and points to remember:

  • Pick your workout location, such as a park or the beach, in advance (say this weekend) to get you of to a running start (pun intended) on day one
  • Make sure you have comfortable clothing and the right footwear
  • Have a very clear idea of why you have chosen to get fit. To make this a lifetime habit you need to enjoy it
  • Make sure you prioritize this activity, only you can make the time for it in your schedule
  • Learn from the bad days, celebrate the good ones (in the right way) and don’t give up
  • Slow and steady is the way forward. Injuring yourself will bring your effort to an abrupt halt
  • Always warm-up, cool-down, stretch correctly and stay hydrated
  • Most importantly, check with your doctor on the suitability of any workout and heed your body’s signals

Now that you have patiently read through this, get ready to start. You can log on to  facebook page, or visit our comments section here and post your progress/questions. I will personally be with you every day, monitoring your progress, cheering you on and answering your questions, so you can take your next day out with ease.

Here’s to a fitter, happier and healthier you.

About the author:

Naresh is a fitness enthusiast who enjoys running, rowing and a multitude of outdoor sports. He also works in the healthcare industry and, at close to sixty years, is trying to create awareness of the concept of health through fitness.

Copyright 2012 (c) Primex Scans and Labs. Please do not reproduce this article in its entirety without permission. Alternatively, a link to this URL would be appreciated.

Demystifying health, healthcare and the secrets of a healthy lifestyle

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Demystifying health, healthcare and the secrets of a healthy lifestyle