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10 WAYS TO INCREASE YOUR METABOLISM
SAY BYE-BYE TO EXTRA BODY FAT
WILLPOWER: FALL IN LOVE WITH EXCERCISE INSTEAD!
Good Posture: A Solution to Many Fitness Problems
IMPROVE YOUR SLEEP IMPROVE YOUR LIFE! OTHER ARTICLES:
> TOP 10 THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN JOINING A GYM > THE ROLE OF AMINO ACIDS IN BUILDING MUSCLE > PROTEIN SOURCES FOR VEGETARIANSI
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EDITORS PAGE Welcome to the first NHF Magazine issue!
our desire to see our readers living healthy lives. Through our website forums and blog, we aim Nutrition, Health and Fitness to reach out and build an ‘NHF (NHF) is our passion and we want community’ through consistent inthis magazine to take us through teraction amongst the community a life-long journey of learning and and observing what the commuhealthy living. nity has to offer firsthand. All of us are passionate about the topics Our newly acquired sedentary we write on. We take time off from lifestyles work against all that we our schedules to provide our tips, are made for – a life filled with ac- tricks and results from our own tivity! We aim to expose the ben- research from various sources to efits of increasing activity at your arm you with the latest informaown capacity to achieve higher fit- tion about health and fitness. ness levels over time. We cater to body builders and We support the education of gym enthusiasts by giving them healthy nutrition as a long term more detailed advice on what preventative measure for un- works and what doesn’t at the healthy eating habits ultimately gym. In this issue we have an arcausing sicknesses and disease. ticle especially for you on the role of amino acids in building muscle. Healthy eating can be small steps such as reducing sugar in your We have a team of writers who food with the aim to eliminate it all are experienced and passionate together. Lifestyles can change by about what we are all about – Nutaking small steps towards your trition, Health and Fitness! I am health such as daily walks, jog- sure you will enjoy reading the ging, stretching while you work or first NHF magazine issue. taking up a sport with your friends or in a club. We believe in sharing what we have with you. If you are passionIt’s interesting to note that a ma- ate about health and fitness and jority of health problems stem want to be involved in some way, from bad eating habits and lack then we would love to hear from adequate exercise. you. We aim to have our magazine filled with good Nutrition, Health and Fitness articles for men, women, the elderly, young, healthy and the unhealthy. It is
Towards your health, Jeremy Taylor Executive Editor NHF Magazine
CONTRIBUTERS Special thanks to:
Sam & Dawn Taylor, Ageng Newmai and the NHF Magazine team for their support and expertise in making this magazine a reality.
Art, Digital & Graphics Designer: Tim Clarkson
Publisher & Executive Editor:
Koluhrii Ariicho Jre Murry
Web & UI Engineer:
Website Editor: Ageng Newmai Sanchobeny Murry
Jeremy Taylor Sanchobeny Murry Agota Bhavana Pandey Emma Nutter Dr. Rob Sian Pitman Suman Santra Yuvika Pai
CONTENTS 5 10 Ways to increase your metabolism 10 Say Bye-Bye to extra body fat 11 Improve your Sleep, Improve your life!
19 The role of amino acids in building muscle 26 Top 10 things to onsider when joining a gym 29 Dump the willpower: Fall in love with excercise instead
35 Good Posture: A solution to many fitness problems 37 Protein Sources for Vegetations 39 Getting the most out of Raw Vegetables
Diet & Excercise
‘10 ways in which you can boost your metabolism everyday, and burn the maximum calories possible. ’
10 Ways To
Metabolism Sometimes losing weight and gaining muscle can be an uphill struggle. You can calorie count and exercise untill the cows come home but see minimal results for all your effort! This is often caused by a sluggish metabolism, and despite what many people believe, there are several simple ways to increase it massively! Why Might Your Metabolism Be Slow?
Everybody’s metabolism works at a different rate, which is why some people struggle to gain weight no matter how much they eat and others find it difficult to lose weight even if they consume next to nothing. There is also a condition called hypothyroidism which causes the metabolism to slow right down and the sufferer to gain weight. This can be diagnosed and treated by a doctor, but medication only goes so far and there are other lifestyle changes that can improve the metabolism even more. So what exactly is your “metabolism”? Put simply it is a measure of how many calories being burnt each day. If your metabolism is slow then that means your body is burning calories slowly, even if you are exercising and eating healthily. Unfortunately having a slow metabolism hinders fat loss, essential to health, body building and an attractive physique. Here are 10 ways in which you can NHF- Janurary 2012 05
boost your metabolism everyday, and burn the maximum calories possible. By taking up some of these tips you should see an improvement in your potential fat loss:
your metabolism. There are plenty of ways to incorporate it into your diet, whether you add to your meals at night, baking or health boosting drinks.
1} Eat Breakfast
3} Eat More Food Earlier in the Day
Some people skip breakfast because they live busy lives, to lose weight or because they don’t feel like eating first thing in the morning. However breakfast is essential to a fast metabolism and therefore to losing weight. By not eating breakfast you are setting your body into “starvation mode”, making it think that it needs to conserve energy and burn calories slowly. Add breakfast to your daily routine, with it consisting of around 300 calories, and eat eggs, beans or lean meat for extra protein.
2} Add Spices
Adding spices to your meals can vastly increase your metabolism. All spices have this effect, however Cayenne Pepper and Cinnamon have been shown in studies to be particularly effective. You only need to consume 1 tsp a day to speed up
The jury is out on whether eating late at night it is detrimental to your metabolism. However it is definitely true that you should eat bigger meals for breakfast and lunch. This is because you will need the calories the most during the day when you are active. The calories you eat after 7p.m will not burn as quickly at night since the body is at rest.
4) Increase Vitamin C Intake
Experts believe that by consuming 500 mg of vitamin C per day, you could burn up to 40% more fat when exercising. It is not recommended you vastly exceed this amount because it can result in unwanted side effects. You can find high levels of vitamin C in kiwi fruit, strawberries, orange juice or simply by taking vitamin C supplements.
Some people skip breakfast... However breakfast is essential to a fast met abolism
5) Natural Fat Burning Pills
Many people worry about what fat burning pills are doing to their bodies, and whether they are safe. Natural fat burning pills only contain safe, natural ingredients such as herbs, which makes them a lot more reassuring to use. Syntrax fyre is a natural fat burning pill that claims to â€œstimulate every fat burning metabolic process in the bodyâ€?. This particular brand stimulates the metabolism and increases energy, and has received many positive reviews online.
6) Eat up to Eight Meals Per Day
Eating smaller meals more often ensure your blood sugar stays stable and provides your metabolism with a constant flow of energy. Eat between five and eight meals per day to see positive effects.
7) Green Tea
Drinking green tea is a great way to boost your metabolism as well as staying dehydrated during exercise. If you donâ€™t like the taste then you can take green tea extract tablets instead, available at most health food stores.
8 Follow Ayurvedic Techniques
The ancient Indian practice of Ayurveda is still followed by many people today. It incorporates lifestyle, exercises and medicine to build a healthy body and mind. Ayurveda has many lessons on how to boost metabolism through exercise and diet, however it recommends specific Indian herbs and recipes for boosting metabolism, such as guggulu.
NHF - January 2012 07
Drinking green tea is a great way to boost your metabolism...
9 Aerobic Exercise
Aerobic exercise, such as cycling, running or swimming is very beneficial to the metabolism. By doing half an hour of aerobic exercise in the morning you will not only be burning more calories whilst you are doing the exercise but you will be boosting your metabolism for the entire day.
10 Strength Training
It is a well known fact that muscle burns more calories than fat, so by having more muscle you will be improving your metabolic rate. Not only that but after you have done a resistance work-out your muscles heal and grow which continues to burn calories. Aim to do two or three weight training exercise routines per week. Soon you will be burning more calories, even when youâ€™re not doing anything!
Diet & Excercise
Say Bye - Bye to that extra body fat! Today many people are struggling to reduce weight. Read this article to know how you can reduce weight by drinking water. Water plays an important role in your weight loss plan. Water not only helps to say bye-bye to extra body fat but also regulates the body temperature. Drinking water at regular intervals can help remove body wastes and protect organs and tissues. Lack of water can lead to dehydration, stomach pain and various health problems. Include plenty of water into your daily routine to keep health problems at bay.
ing plenty of water? Drinking water can help your body flush extra fat but only when itâ€™s combined with sensible eating habit and daily workouts. The golden rule to stay fit is to cut your meal sizes, and avoid eating when you start feeling full. Rather than eating three big meals, try to eat six small meals. Always drink a glass of water before eating any meal of the day itâ€™s a great way to burn food cravings.
To reduce weight how much water should a person drink? The measure of water depends on your lifestyle and age. A healthy lifestyle composes of balanced diet and workout regime. A person with healthy lifestyle can drink on the average about 8 ounce of water a day. During your workout sessions drink plenty of water to keep your water levels up because your body lose a lot of water when you are exercising.
Water is an important ingredient as it helps to keep every single part of your body work functionally. Just by drinking plenty of water you can keep your entire body healthier. Water therapy is the best and simplest way to lose weight for free. Dieters across the globe use water to deter hunger pangs. However, make sure you include 30-60 minutes of daily workout and balanced diet for fit body.
Can a person reduce excess weight by just drinkNHF - January 2012 10
IMPROVE YOUR SLEEP!
IMPROVE YOUR LIFE Here are eight easy to apply tips that can improve the quality of your sleep (and therefore your life) dramatically:
Physical and mental breakdowns caused by stress are common amongst all demographic groups, from high school kids to stay-athome parents to busy professionals. While people are turning to many different solutions in their search for more balance in life, they often forget one of the simplest and most effective ways to improve your health, productivity and overall well-being: quality sleep. Here are eight easy to apply tips that can improve the quality of your sleep (and therefore your life) dramatically:
1) Make quality sleep a priority. Improving your sleep starts with a simple decision to make quality sleep your priority. We are used to putting everything else, be it work, studies or parties, above sleep: no wonder the vast majority of our society is sleep deprived. When you think about it, sacrificing the amount and quality of your sleep is simply stupid, because you can’t function well when sleep deprived. Make a decision to put in the necessary efforts to get the best sleep you possibly can.
2) Make sure you get enough sleep. An average adult usually needs around 7-8 hours of sleep every night in order to function well (although some people can require as little as 5 hours or as much as 10 hours). Not only most of us are not getting this amount of sleep regularly: majority of adults are carrying massive sleep debt, which is only getting worse with each passing year. Do yourself a favor and make sure that you get enough sleep on a regular basis. Many people think that sleeping a lot is a sign of laziness: ignore them. When done consciously, sleeping a lot might be a sign of wisdom.
3) Establish a regular sleeping schedule You probably have heard about so called “body clock”. This term actually refers to circadian rhythm, a body temperature cycle. The temperature of our body is not always the same: it rises and it drops several times throughout the day. It’s actually pretty straightforward: when temperature is rising, you feel alert and awake, when temperature is dropping, you feel more and more sleepy until you actually fall asleep. Generally, temperature starts rising in the early morning, falls in the afternoon (hence the need to take a nap), then starts rising again and then falls again in the evening. The important thing to understand about circadian rhythm is that body adjusts itself to your usual routine and it’s not that easy to change your temperature cycle. When you go to bed and wake up at different times, your body is confused what’s happening. For example, if you usually wake up at 8 o’clock, your temperature will start rising at that time, even if you just got back from a nightclub and are just going to sleep. Even if you fall asleep, the quality of your sleep will be very poor, because your body will try to sleep when it’s temperature is actually rising. Furthermore, you will probably experience insomnia the night after that, because although your temperature will drop at the usual time and you will feel drowsy, you won’t be able to fall asleep. This is why it’s best to have a regular sleeping schedule, which means going to bed and waking up at the same time seven days a week: this way, your circadian rhythm will work in your favour, not against you.
NHF - January 2012 14
Health 4) Establish a regular exercising schedule People who exercise regularly are more alert during the day and sleep much better during the night. Why? It also comes down to your circadian rhythm. When you exercise, your body temperature rises, allowing you to be more alert and energetic throughout the day. Furthermore, this makes temperature drop much easier in the evening, which results in a deep and uninterrupted sleep. I highly recommend you to start exercising regularly if you aren’t already doing so.
5) Get enough sunlight. Melatonin is a hormone that is responsible for putting you to sleep. It’s also called “vampire hormone”, because it’s released when we’re exposed to darkness. In fact, as soon as sunlight stops entering our eyes, melatonin level starts to rise, making you feel more and more sleepy. This is why it’s extremely important to make sure that you’re exposed to enough sunlight throughout the day: higher exposure to sunlight delays body temperature drop and allows you to stay alert for longer periods of time. Low exposure to sunlight will most likely make you feel drowsy during the day and cause either a pressure to sleep very early in the day or inability to fall asleep at night.
6) Reduce caffeine intake. Many people start their days with a cup of coffee and then keep drinking it until the evening. It’s true that coffee gives you an instant boost of energy and alertness, but it’s long term pain for short term gain: the energizing effect fades away in few hours, but caffeine remains in your blood much longer and continues to affect your body in a negative way. In reality, caffeine doesn’t help you at all, it actually messes up your sleep system badly, In inreality caffeine doesn’t help at all,it actually messes up your sleep system badly,because caffeine intake makes you sleep less than 6 hours; reduces the time spent in deep sleep stages that are necessary for a quality rest, and increases the number of awakenings during the night. No wonder you wake up carving for more coffee: you didn’t get much rest! The best decision is to drop caffeine or atleast reduce your intake and focus on increasing the quality of your sleep. NHF - January 2012 15
â€œMany people start their days with a cup of coffee and then keep drinking it until the evening.... The best decision is to drop caffeine.â€?
7) Reduce alcohol intake. Many people think that having a drink or two before going to bed will help them sleep, when actually the opposite is truth: alcohol prevents you from getting a good night’s sleep. Alcohol suppresses both deep sleep and REM sleep, which means it messes up three sleep stages out of five. This results in very light, unrestful sleep. You’re really better off without that glass of wine.
8) Drop nicotine! I’ll be totally honest with you here: if you smoke, you can’t expect to get quality sleep. Nicotine is similar to caffeine due to it’s stimulating effects, it’s just much worse. Nicotine puts your whole body, including your sleep system, totally out of balance. Really, stop killing yourself and quit smoking.
Final words I have already mentioned that according to scientific research, the vast majority of our society is sleep deprived. Some sleep experts even say that most people don’t really know what does it means to be fully awake. Whatever it is that you’re currently putting above sleep, think for a moment: is it really worth sleep-walking through life? Probably not. Don’t be foolish: make quality sleep your priority, apply these tips and be surprised how much better the world looks when you’re actually fully awake.
NHF - January 2012 18
The Role of Amino Acids in Building Muscle
Most people are aware that protein is essential when attempting to build muscle. However they may not know exactly why that is. Amino acids are essentially what make up protein and therefore necessary for muscle growth in the same way protein is. There are more than 20 types of amino acids, some of which can be manufactured by the body – these are called non-essential amino acids. However eight are called “essential” amino acids because the body cannot create them and we need to get them from supplements and certain foods. To succeed in reaching your maximum potential muscle growth, it is important to supply your body with all the amino acids it needs. How Do Amino Acids Work? When you eat food that contains
protein, it gets digested by the stomach and the intestine. The protein is broken down by the process of digestion into amino acids that are small enough to pass into the blood stream. The blood carries the amino acids around the body to perform different tasks, such as muscle repair and hair growth. Branch chain amino acids (BCAA’s) are essential aminos called leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They are especially important for building muscle. These three amino acids account for approximately one third of the bodies skeletal tissue alone. BCAA’s combine simple aminos to form complex muscle tissue. During this action the BCAA’s initiate the body to produce insulin, which in turn aids amino acid uptake by muscle tissue. This chain of reactions that are initiated by branch chain amino acids is called a metabolic pathway. This pathway results in higher protein production, which means that BCAA’s are making your work-outs go further. NHF- Janurary 2012 19
Another reason it is important to eat protein-rich food and/or take amino acid supplements when body-building is because amino acids deteriorate. Unlike starch and fat, amino acids are not stored by the body and therefore constantly need to be replaced.
It is possible to find BCAA’s in protein rich food, such as meat and dairy products. However if you are serious about body building, then you may wish to take supplements as well. Protein powders contain amino acids, but they are packed with fillers and carbohydrates, so it is best to opt for specific amino acid supplements. It is important not to consume too much BCAA as this could result in unwanted side affects. A safe daily dose is between 5 and 20 grams in tablet form and 1 to 5 in liquid form. The time you choose to take the supplements is important as well. Eating a protein-rich snack or a supplement half an hour before a work out and half an hour after is beneficial to im-
prove performance. Taking BCAA’s after a work out will help the muscles to replace the amino acids more quickly, and therefore speed muscle growth. Amino acids work in conjunction with vitamins and minerals in the body, so it is essential to be sure your body is also receiving enough of these for your muscle growth to be optimal. Here is a guide to other important supplements that work with BCAA’s:
Chromium: This helps insulin to transport glucose, fatty acids and most importantly amino acids into cells. Chromium also increases the rate protein is synthesized by the body and slows down protein degradation.
Zinc: Again zinc is very important in relation to insulin, which it helps
to regulate. Zinc is involved in all phases of growth within the body. It is also especially important to body builders because exercise stimulates zinc loss and therefore you need to replace it.
Health Vitamin B-6: Vitamin B-6 is an important co-factor to
zinc, which regulates insulin. Zinc is the regulator of insulin. If your diet is high in amino acids then your body also requires more vitamin B-6.
Popular BCAA Supplements Always keep in mind that BCAA’s work with your strength and cardiovascular training, they do not magically build muscle on their own. How much supplement you take should depend on how much exercise you are doing. Always read the labels for more information.
This powdered supplement contains Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine. It is a little expensive, but tastes great having a watermelon flavour. It is important to have a supplement that is a specific blend of individual amino acids rather than just a protein powder. This is because you would have to take much more protein powder to get the same amount of amino acids that are within a specific BCAA supplement. SciVation Xtend combines all the essential BCAA’s for rapid muscle growth.
Animal Nitro isn’t cheap. Expect to pay around $40 for 30 doses (6 grams per dose). Unlike protein powders, full of whey and fillers these tablets are made completely of uncoupled amino acids, which are more rapidly absorbed by the body, which is what justifies the high price tag.
Optimum BCAA 1000 Caps
Optimum are a reasonably priced supplement in capsule form. They contain a potent balance of BCAA’s with two capsules supplying the following: L-Leucine - 500 mg L-Isoleucine - 250 mg L-Valine - 250 mg
Conclusion If you are really serious about muscle growth then having the knowledge regarding branched chain amino acids will be very beneficial to your body building programme. Having a sensible approach to diet and supplementation will help you make the most of your workouts.
NHF - January 2012 21
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Top 10 Things to Consider When Joining a Gym Whether it’s a lifestyle change, a personal goal or trying a new hobby, there are many things to think about when joining a gym. Perhaps you’ve moved to a new area or you’re not happy with your current gym – whatever the reason, check out the following list of things you should take into account first.
What are your reasons for joining the gym – is it to lose weight, to get fitter or be healthier? Think about what you want to achieve and how you can get there. Joining a gym is a big financial commitment and you should be sure you’re up to the task before you think about joining. Take into consideration how much time you can spare as well as any health issues or financial issues that may hinder your application.
The location of your gym is very important. Is it near your home or on your route to work? Can you walk or drive there? If you sign up for a gym that’s miles out of your way, the likelihood is you won’t go there very often. Pick a place that’s near where you live or near your workplace and you’ll feel more motivated to go. A lot of big fitness centres are opening up in malls and shopping centres across India, so unless you’ve got a way of getting there (car, reliable public transport), you’re better off sticking with somewhere closer to home.
What are you looking to get out of your gym sessions? Are you
interested in just working out with exercise equipment or would you prefer to work out with others at fitness classes? Do your research and make sure you think carefully about what you want from your gym – it’s all well signing up for the nearest or cheapest place but if you’re not going to maximise your usage then you’ll just be throwing money away. Big chains like Fitness First have TV screens and sound systems to keep you entertained when working out and others have coffee shops and juice bars to help you relax after a long session. Don’t forget to
look at the opening and closing times too!
Most gyms will let you book a free trial so that you can explore the facilities before you commit to a contract – this is especially important if you’re joining a gym for the first time. If your friends are members at a gym, go along with them and see what it’s like and make sure you’re comfortable before handing any money over. Make the most of it, try out everything and whatever you do, don’t feel pressured into joining if you’re not happy. NHF - January 2012 26
Gym prices in India are among the highest in the world, so try and see if you can get any special discounts or reduced membership, free gifts or free joining fees. Ask around your workplace in case they have any special corporate deals with specific gyms and if not, get some other people together who are looking to join (10 is usually a good number) and see if any gyms will do you a deal!
6) Types of Membership
Joining a gym is not as straightforward as it used to be. Most gyms offer different types of memberships: peak, off-peak, joint, etc at various prices. Peak memberships mean that you can use the gym at any time of the day but are also the more expensive option. Off-peak memberships only allow you to use the gym at certain times of day - usually between 9 – 5 and at weekends, which is great if you’re at home during the day but not so great for workers. Joint memberships can sometimes work out cheaper if you join with your partner and can give you extra motivation to work out together. Think about what’s included in your membership (classes, discounts, use of lockers, free towels), and if it’s perhaps worth going for the more expensive option.
7) Contract Length
Before you commit yourself to anything, you need to make sure that you understand the terms of your contract. Some gyms will want to commit you for at least 3, 6 or 12 months and you’ll find it difficult to get out of it once you sign on the dotted line. Others will let you join on a monthly rolling basis where you only need to give 30 days’ notice to cancel a contract. Think about whether you’re doing this short term or if you intend to keep it going before you make sign.
NHF - January 2012 27
Gym membership is considered a luxury, and if you don’t make the most out of your membership then you’re wasting money. Think long and hard about whether you can afford it and whether there are any alternatives to joining a gym. If you know you’re only going to use a treadmill – take up running outdoors instead (it’s free!) or if you’re only looking to do an aerobics class once or twice a week, buy a workout DVD instead. Some gyms (especially smaller gyms), let you pay every time you go rather than monthly, but if you intend to go regularly then this isn’t always the most cost-effective option.
Make sure you equip yourself with the right kit – it might sound obvious but first-timers might not take into consideration that as well as spending money on membership, you’ll need to pay for other things too. Ensuring you have the correct footwear is important to avoid injuries whilst exercising; this is something you shouldn’t scrimp on. Invest in a water bottle to do your bit for the environment (too many plastic cups get wasted each year) and if you have any injuries ensure you buy the proper support aids for them to avoid causing further damage.
Some people are more than happy to be left alone to their own devices at the gym, but if you’re not so confident with how things work and need some extra help achieving your goals – you might want some help from a personal trainer to get you on the right track or help you reach specific targets. Some gyms will give you introductory sessions with a trainer or allow you to have sessions at a discount, something to think about if you need a push. Better yet, enlist a friend or more likely to make the commitment if you go with another person.
NHF - January 2012 28
Dump the Willpower: Fall in Love with Excercise Instead!
Excercise We live in a society where almost everyone wants to be healthy, fit and good looking..and somehow most people never achieve those goals. It’s not that they don’t try: they do, yet somehow they fail to get the desired results. I bet you also know quite a few people who want to get in shape for years, yet nothing changes despite their efforts. What’s the reason for that? There might be many explanations, but in most cases, everything is actually pretty simple: people are unable to stick to their fitness routines.. And everyone knows that without regular exercise it’s very hard to stay fit and healthy. But is there a way to develop a habit of exercising regularly when you’ve already tried few times and failed? Yes, there is.
Willpower is overrated There’s a vicious cycle that goes like that: Person decides that she wants to lose weight. Then, she decides that she should start exercising regularly. Then, she gets a gym membership or starts jogging or whatever. Then, the initial enthusiasm fades away and she starts skipping exercise. Then, suddenly she realizes that she stopped exercising and didn’t notice that. Then, she beats herself up for messing up and decides to try again, only to repeat the cycle and beat herself up again few weeks or few months later. With each new round, more and more guilt accumulates and her self-esteem goes lower and lower. Sooner or later that low self-esteem will start affecting her relationships and her career. This cycle is much more destructive than people usually think because it negatively affects all areas of your life. How come so many people can’t do such a simple thing: stick to their exercise routines?
of self-discipline and think that they simply have to push harder and the problem will be solved.. Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing and expecting different results. Why would you want to repeat the vicious cycle when the method you’re using is clearly not working? Maybe it’s time to try a new approach? I suggest you to dump the willpower and learn to enjoy exercise. Yes, you’ve read it right, you can actually enjoy it like many other people do. Think about it: do you really need that much willpower or self-discipline to stick with something you love? No. Wouldn’t it be wiser to fall in love with exercise instead of banging your head against the wall using willpower?
“Exercise is not fun!” is only your perception
In case you see exercise as a torture, it’s important to understand that this is only a subjective perception, not an objective truth. Your current attitude is a result of a negative association with sport which is based on your previous negative experience with it. Maybe your parents made you to do sports you didn’t enjoy. Maybe you had a bad physical education teacher and therefore hated that class. Maybe you were mocked because you didn’t do well in basketball or rugby. Maybe it’s not even related with your direct experience, maybe you’ve gotten an impression that jocks are rude and dumb and therefore you think that exercise make people dumb. Many things happen during our formative years that form our positive and negative associations with certain subjects and as adults we often act those associations out in our daily lives without consciously I believe that this is because most people are realizing it. The important thing to understand is approaching the problem from the wrong angle: that whatever your reason for the negative assothey rely on their willpower, which is way overrat- ciation with exercise is, that negative association ed in our society. The truth is that they don’t like can be consciously replaced with a positive asexercise (actually, they often hate it!), but they try sociation based on a positive experience related to force themselves into going to a gym . You can with sports. Now you can’t believe that you could only force yourself to do something you hate for possibly like exercise..But maybe after some time so long, therefore sooner or later they stop ex- you won’t be able to imagine your life without it? ercising. People beat themselves up for the lack NHF - January 2012 31
What do YOU want?
spires you to go and exercise like crazy. Runners can be motivated by books about running. Martial There’s so much media hype around the topic of artists might keep the fire alive by watching kung exercise that most people develop a feeling that fu movies. Free-runners and acrobats might find they should exercise without having a clear idea new motivation in Youtube videos. It doesn’t matwhat’s in it for them, which only results in more ter how much we like something, we all get burned and more unacknowledged guilt building up inside. out every once in a while. That’s why it’s important Why not get some clarity before you start exercis- to find out what inspires and motivates you and ing? Ask yourself what do you really want, not what then make sure that you are exposed to that matemagazines say you should want. Do you want to rial regularly. lose weight? Get in a better shape? Have more energy? Live a really long life? Find a new hobby? Use the social factor to your advanThere is no right and wrong here, the only thing tage that is important is being honest with yourself and finding out what you really want. Social factor is way underrated when it comes to It’s much easier to exercise regularly Take time to find something you love exercise. when you have a group of friends who are into the same type of exercise, therefore it’s wise to reach The reason why you still hate exercise is probably out to people with similar interests. There are many because you haven’t done it that much after hav- ways to do that: you can offer someone to join you ing a negative experience with it, therefore you for a run, you can ask more experienced people still associate it with that negative experience. The to teach you something on a weekend or you can problem with that means that you have tried only simply ask someone if they’d like to grab a bite few types of exercise when there are so many of with you after your class. You can also reach out them. You might have tried a type of exercise that to people all over the world via related websites, is completely wrong for you in the past, but it would blogs and internet forums. Don’t miss a wonderful be foolish to assume that all types of it are wrong for opportunity to make new friends who will help you you, wouldn’t it? You might hate team sports, but to keep your newly find passion alive. maybe you would love yoga? You might find wrestling way too aggressive, but who knows, maybe Final words you would enjoy dancing? Or maybe yoga bores you to death, but martial arts would make you feel All these ideas might sound completely alien for more alive than ever? The truth is that you’ll never you, especially if you’re one of the long-term exknow until you try many different sports. Don’t be ercise haters. Relax, you don’t have to go from a afraid to step out of your comfort zone and shop couch potato to a fitness god or goddess in one around: it’s not like you have to commit to every day. Start with baby-steps: sign-up for a yoga class sport you try. Make a decision to find out what type next week, join your co-workers who go to the gym of exercise you really like and then try few classtogether or maybe ask a friend who’s a marathon es of different sports every month (this is actually runner to get together for a short run on your daycheap, because in most places your first class is off. Experiment with different types of exercise and free) until you find what you love. Yes, it will take you’ll soon notice that actually it’s not as bad as more efforts than sitting on the couch and watchyou’ve thought. Do this long enough and sooner ing TV, but believe me, you won’t regret it. or later you will stumble upon something that you actually like and you’ll notice that you actually want Find something that inspires you to exercise. This might take time, but believe me, once you fall in love with exercise not only you’ll Once you have figured out what type of exercise find it easy to stick to a fitness routine: your whole you like best, take time to find out what really in- life will never be the same again. NHF - January 2012 34
Good Posture: A Solution to Many Fitness Problems
Notice yourself right now. Is the posture in which you are sitting or standing correct? Well, most of us are unaware of what a correct posture is and due to this lack of awareness we don’t realize how much harm we do to our body by sitting, standing or sleeping in incorrect postures. Posture basically refers to the way in which you hold your body against gravity while you sit, stand or lay down. Maintaining correct posture simply means ensuring that you stand, walk, sit and lie in a manner such that least strain is placed on supporting muscles and ligaments.
good posture ensures that your weight is evenly distributed on your feet.
“Standing or sitting up straight” doesn’t mean tensing your back and pulling in your abdomen or pulling your head back and chest upwards. All it does to your body is tighten its muscles and put strain on the ligaments. But this is not what we want. Standing or sitting should not feel uncomfortable. The spine, contrary to what many people think is not completely straight. The natural spine curve is an ‘S’ curve. While standing one must not put stress on the spine to make it completely straight, but must simply ensure that he/she is not slouching or stooping. A
Here are some tips to improve your posture:
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Let us examine some benefits of maintaining your body in proper posture. A proper posture: • Helps in aligning bones and joints correctly so that muscle utilization is optimum.
• Prevents arthritis by preventing the wear and tear of muscles and joint surfaces • Reduces stress on ligaments which hold together the spinal joints.
1. Raise your arms straight, along your ears while ensuring that your ears are aligned with your shoulders and hips. Then bend your forearms alternately to touch your shoulder blades. This exercise helps correct the unwanted slouch. 2. Stretch your arms out at shoulder height. Hold them in this position for approximately 10 seconds. Now, slowly and steadily bring your arms down along your sides while you count till ten.
• Prevents abnormality in shape. (Hunchbacks, rigidity etc.)
Repeat these exercises till you feel a little fatigue in your shoulder muscles. Don’t make them excessively strenuous though.
• Helps prevent backache and muscular pain.
• Stretch whenever you find the time to. For people who have incorrect posture due to back aches and neck pains, stretching can be really helpful. While working on laptops or PCs, stretch your neck forward and backward, left and right. Rolling your head in a circle is not recommended as it can be strenuous.
• Reduces body fatigue by distributing body weight evenly. .
• Makes you look good and confident. Enriches your personality.
• Try to align your hips, shoulders and ears in one line. Your spine will curve in a slight ‘S’ so don’t try to straighten your whole back. Aligning your hips, shoulders and ears doesn’t hurt and is not unnatural. • Practice exercises that strengthen your shoulder muscles. These exercises need not be physically demanding or strenuous. Here are 2 easy exercises to start off with:
• Start your day with yoga or regular exercises. This will help you avoid any cramps due to wrong sleeping postures. This not only reduces your vulnerability to body aches and muscular pains but you will observe that it also helps to instill confidence and improve your overall personality.
A common misconception about the vegetarian diet is that it is difficult for vegetarians to consume enough protein to be healthy. Vegetarians are often subjected to constant questions about how they could possibly have sufficient protein in their diet without meat. In fact there are plenty of excellent sources of protein other than meat and fish. The key to maintaining a healthy body on a vegetarian diet is to have a variety of protein sources everyday and to include at least one protein rich food with each meal. Protein is essential to keeping us healthy and performs important functions in the body, such as cell renewal and muscle growth. However the situation is made a little more complex because not all proteins are as “complete” as each other. This means that certain proteins contain fewer essential amino acids than others, and we need all of them to be healthy. Generally plant proteins are less complete than animal proteins, and therefore vegetarians need to combine several types of protein in their daily eating routine. Soya is the most complex plant protein and as such should be incorporated into every vegetarian’s diet. Here is a run down of the best sources of protein for vegetarians:
Protein Sources Whole Grains
All whole grains are a good source of protein, however the greatest protein rich whole grain of all is quinoa. Quinoa is one of a small number of vegetarian foods that is a complete protein, containing all the essential amino acids. Quinoa was a staple NHF- Janurary 2012 37
food in the diet of the ancient Incas, who named it the “mother grain”. Other whole grains such as brown rice and barley are also relatively good protein sources.
Lentils and Beans
Lentils and beans are an excellent, affordable protein source. Len-
tils themselves contain a huge 18 grams of protein in an average serving. They are also an incredibly versatile food and can be used in many different recipes to suit all tastes. Consider using lentils in an Indian dahl, kidney beans in a vegetarian chilli or a delicious chickpea hummus. Soybeans are easily the ultimate protein source for vegetarians and vegans alike. They are used to make tofu, soymilk and tempeh. Tempeh itself contains 41 grams of protein in a single serving, which fulfils your daily protein requirement in one go! Often if you buy processed soy, such as tofu or milk, it will have added vitamins and iron, which vegetarians are also sometimes short of.
Eggs are a good source of protein for vegetarians because they are animal proteins and therefore contain all of the essential amino acids. Eggs are also an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin B12. At one point there was a recommended limit on how many eggs a person should eat per week, as eggs contain cholesterol. However this limit has been lifted since scientific research has revealed that the level of cholesterol will have no effect on our health. However the yolk of the egg contains most of the cholesterol, so if you have concerns then eating just the egg whites will still provide you with the protein.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are a good source of protein and excellent as a snack on the go. Peanut butter is particularly convenient and a good way of getting protein into the diet of vegetarian children. Almonds and peanuts contain a high level of protein, with 8 grams per serving. However nuts and seeds are high in fat so they should be eaten in moderation.
Protein Content of Various Foods Below is a useful table, listing the protein content in various vegetarian foods.
Food (an average serving)
Tempeh Soy Beans, cooked Lentils, cooked Kidney Beans, cooked Chickpeas, cooked Tofu, firm Quinoa, cooked Tofu, regular Peanut Butter Almonds Soy Milk Eggs Brown Rice, cooked
Protein (grams) 41 29 18 13 12 11 9 9 8 8 7 6 5
Protein is easily incorporated into every meal of the day. For example, you could try scrambled eggs on toast for breakfast, a peanut butter sandwich for lunch and a vegetable curry for dinner. Here is an excellent high-Protein Chickpea curry for you to try at home: High-Protein Chickpea Curry Serves - 2 Cooking time – 30 minutes Ingredients • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
1 tbsp oil 1 Onion, chopped 1 garlic clove, chopped ½ tsp salt ½ tsp cumin powder ¼ tsp turmeric powder ¼ tsp red chilli powder 1 tomato, chopped 400g/14 oz can chickpeas 5cm piece root ginger, grated fresh coriander Pinch of Garam masala Basmati rice Naan Bread
Instructions Begin by heating the oil or butter in a deep saucepan. Once hot fry the onions and garlic until nicely caramelized. Now add the salt, the spices and the root ginger, allow to cook for around a minute. Next add in the tomato and cook for a few minutes until soft. Now add ¼ cup of water and mix. Then pour in the chickpeas, stirring and mashing some of the chickpeas whilst they cook. Cover and simmer for five minutes. Finally add the ginger, garam masala and coriander and cook for a further minute. Serve with basmati and/ or naan bread.
NHF- Janurary 2012 38
Getting the Most
Out of Raw Vegetables
Getting enough vegetables into your daily diet can be difficult enough, without having to digest the prospect of eating raw vegetables as well. However eating raw vegetables is an essential part of a healthy diet, particularly for vegetarians, vegans and people trying to lose weight. Raw vegetables are rich in minerals, vitamins and enzymes that are essential to our health. Cooked vegetables will also contain some essential nutrients, but in most cases considerably less than raw ones. It is believed that cooking vegetables denatures the enzymes within them, which means our bodies are forced to produce more enzymes to fully digest them. The process of cooking may make vegetables more appetising, but it does in fact reduce the nutritional value. The heat diminishes valuable nutrients within the food, such as greatly reducing the vitamin C content of the vegetable. Cooking broccoli, for example, destroys most of the sulforaphanes, which are thought to prevent cancer. However there are some foods that can benefit from being cooked, such as tomatoes; the lycopene content of tomatoes quadruples when they are cooked. The key to getNHF- Janurary 2012 39
ting the most out of vegetables is knowing how to prepare and cook them correctly.
Preparing Vegetables Maximum Benefit
Science has taught us that even a minute or two of cooking will alter the nutritional composition of vegetables, resulting in a loss of essential nutrients. However the loss can be minimised by cooking for shorter periods of time and at a lower temperature. Likewise steaming is a far better method of cooking vegetables than boiling. Once the vegetables are cooked you should consume them immediately, placing them in the fridge for a day or two will result in further nutrient loss. To feel the full benefit you should include at least some raw vegetables in your daily diet. Some people will happily munch on carrots and celery sticks all day long, however if youâ€™re not one of them then you can make them more appealing by having celery, carrot and cauliflower
with a hummus dip. Add cucumber and leafy greens to your lunch time sandwich to rack up more raw portions. Further down in this article there are some excellent raw food recipes to help get you started.
Digesting Raw Vegetables Some people find that raw vegetables give them gas and bloating, especially if they have not included raw food in their diets before. This is because raw vegetables contain cellulose, a fibre that is not easily digested by humans. If this is the case for you, then it is recommended that you introduce raw veg into your diet slowly, by having only one portion per day at first. Raw cucumber, celery and carrots are the easiest on the stomach, and you could also consider juicing raw food, which will make it easier for the stomach to digest. The table below should help to give you clear information on the nutritional content of the raw vegetables you consume.
Nutritional Information of Raw Vegetables Vegetable
Asparagus Broccoli Carrot Cauliflower Celery Cucumber Onion Pepper Potato Sweet Potato Tomato
Potassium (% DV)
Fiber (% DV)
Vitamin A (% DV)
Vitamin C (% DV)
Iron (% DV)
7 13 7 8 7 4 5 6 18 13 10
8 12 8 8 8 4 12 8 8 16 4
10 6 110 0 10 4 0 4 0 120 20
15 220 10 100 15 10 20 190 45 30 40
2 6 2 2 2 2 4 4 6 4 4
Tomato Juice Recipe
Raw Curry Pate Recipe
Sometimes it is difficult to constantly come up with new recipes for using raw vegetables, particularly if you don’t like them in the first place. This is where vegetable juices come in, they are convenient, versatile and more palatable than whole veg. Here is a delicious tomato juice recipe. To make this you will require a juicer or a blender.
This spicy curry pate is full of tasty raw vegetables and tastes delicious on crackers or naan bread.
This incredibly simple, traditional Spanish recipe is made entirely with raw vegetables and perfect for summer.
3 cups sliced tomatoes 1 celery stalk 1/2 cucumber 1/2 teaspoon salt
Place the tomatoes, celery and cucumber into the juicer/blender and mix until smooth. Add salt or pepper to taste. This recipe is incredibly versatile, and tastes great if you replace the cucumber with onion or pepper.
2 small cloves of garlic A small cube of peeled fresh ginger 1½ cup onion 1/3 cup red pepper, chopped 1/3 cup carrot, chopped 2 Tablespoons olive oil 1½ Tablespoon curry powder 2 tsp honey ½ tsp cumin ¼ tsp coriander ¼ tsp salt
4 tomatoes, diced 1/2 medium white onion, diced 1 glove garlic, peeled 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped Lemon juice to taste
Place all ingredients a blender and puree. Strain to remove any vegetable pieces and seeds. Chill in the fridge before serving.
In a food processor mix the garlic and ginger. Then add all the remaining ingredients and pulse until veggies are chopped, but not puréed as you want the pate to have a texture.
NHF- Janurary 2012 40
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