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Is Surya Namaskar | Sun Salutation good for weight loss
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Today we are going to have a look at the benefits of yoga asana – Surya Namaskar for weight loss. People around the world have been looking for the best exercise routine that can help them stay in shape. The simplest answer to this problem is something that has been around for thousands of years and has withstood the test of time. It has been recognized as one of the most wonderful and simple techniques for losing weight. It is ancient, powerful and something that has been practiced for over many centuries. Not only it helps in boosting the weight loss process, it also strengthens the body, improves blood circulation, the breathing and keeps the body limber and in shape. A perfect fitness coach for your body, absolutely free of cost - Surya Namaskar | Sun Salutation for Weight Loss So without any further delay, let’s explore the ways in which, this ancient yoga technique can help you to shed off those extra pounds. What is Surya Namaskar & how is it helpful for weight loss? “Surya Namaskar” is Sanskrit word which, means obeisance (Namaskar) to the Sun (Surya). It is a set of 12 powerful yoga asanas (postures) that provide a good cardiovascular workout. These asanas have a phenomenal impact on the waist, throat, chest, heart, stomach, intestine, and legs. In simpler words, Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskar is a complete body workout in itself. This yoga technique is also the base of power yoga which aims at achieving more health benefits in less time. Though the exercise can be performed any time during the day, but it is best done while the stomach is empty, before eating. It is a yogic exercise, which consists of 12 particular postures, one following another, in a fixed, cyclic order to ensure improvement and good health in one’s digestion, agility, rejuvenation, beauty and longevity. It will also help one lose weight and trim the waist. Surya Namaskar & Weight Loss To lose some weight with the help of Surya Namaskar, incorporate the following steps into your daily schedule and see quick results – 1. The first step is to learn how to do Surya Namaskar the right way. All the 12 asanas of surya namaskar, need to be performed with precision to see visible weight loss results! 2. You need to perform it every day at the same time to lose weight faster. If you would like to stay motivated throughout the exercise routine, try some soothing and gentle music. 3. You should perform the steps at a slow and steady pace. It would take around 12-15 days to perfect all the 12 poses. This will also allow you to build strength and get slim faster. 4. Once you have built enough strength, increase the number of rounds you do! For effective weight loss, you could practice surya namaskar for about 6 days a week and do a total of 12 rounds. 5. End your yoga session with 5 mins of stretching and relaxation poses like Shavasana (Corpse Pose). Surya Namaskar & Calories Studies have shown that if a person does 1 minute of Surya Namaskar he is likely to burn 3.79 calories. Also, the time taken to complete a round of Surya Namaskar exercise is around 3 mins 40 seconds. Therefore, it indicates that the calories burnt in 1 Surya Namaskar full round can be up to 13.91 calories. The further extension to the calculation of calories is that 1 pound of fat equals 3,500 calories. So, if you want to reduce a pound every week, on an average you are required to burn 300-400 calories. So using these values, the efforts required by an individual will bear the following results – 1. 18 mins > 250 calories 2. 25 mins > 350 calories 3. 40 mins > 500 calories and so on! Tips to remember a) Try to practice Surya Namaskar in the morning. b) Before you start, do warm up stretches, which will help you ease into the yoga routine and also prevent injury. c) You should be performing every move in a slow manner for better results. d) If you want quick results, do 6-7 sets on a daily basis. To sum up the discussion, Surya Namaskar is the mantra to lose weight and stay peaceful, healthy & fit. Yoga has been there since time immemorial, and nothing can be wiser than opting surya namaskar to reduce weight! So go get out of that bed and gift yourself a new body NOW! ...

The Gluten Free Way
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As you all must be aware that gluten-free diets have become a boom lately and hence people who are gluten intolerant have loads of options available which might be a complete replacement to their favorite pasta, pizza's, bread, etc. There are certain foods that are sold in the market labeled gluten free which actually contain no gluten but these snacks are have high amount of fats which might lead to piling up of extra kilos and hence it is good to stay away from the following gluten free yet fattening food items: 1. Processed meats 2. Candies & chocolates 3. Cakes, bread and pasta 4. Ice creams 5. Chips 6. Salad dressings with mayonnaise 7. Fruit smoothies 8. Cookies Rather these items it is advised to switch to everything whole and organic. From these food items, you can prepare extremely delicious dishes that you would never want to go back to gluten. When you consume such items you feel more energetic, fresh and it surely will help you to lose weight too. Some of the examples of these food items are listed as under: 1. Brown Rice 2. Quinoa 3. Oatmeal 4. Lentils 5. Fresh Fruits 6. Fresh Veggies 7. Buckwheat Here is the list of few tips that must be kept in mind before actually opting got gluten-free diets: a) Have celiac; consult a doctor first It is very important that before going for gluten free eating you go for a proper diagnose to a doctor. If you have bee losing weight off lately, deficit in iron or have a history for celiac then you must consult a doctor before simply giving up gluten and evaluate its impact on your health! b) Avoiding gluten may help you feel better People who have celiac disease need to completely eliminate gluten from their diets as consuming even small amounts triggers symptoms, including belly pain and bloating. However, people who test negative for celiac may also benefit from going gluten-free if they’re experiencing a condition called gluten intolerance, or gluten sensitivity. While it’s not the same as celiac disease, consuming gluten can cause bothersome side effects in many people, including flu-like feelings, bloating and other gastrointestinal problems, mental fogginess, and fatigue. So, avoiding gluten helps you feel better and healthy. c) Be prepared to be bugged Since gluten-free diets are mostly opted by celebrities, many of your friends and relatives may relate it and bug you for becoming like them with your diet. They might not be able to understand the actual reason behind quitting gluten. So be prepared to face their comments and question which will be mainly around what you're missing or questions implying there's nothing for you to eat. d) Gluten isn’t in every type of grain Just because it's a grain doesn't mean it has gluten. You've got lots of options, including amaranth, millet, buckwheat and quinoa. So just relax and enjoy! e) Outings are still on There are many options available for restaurant lovers as there are growing number of restaurants that cater specifically to a gluten-free crowd, which means that you are only quitting gluten, not your social life. National Restaurant Association's highlighted on one of its reports that gluten-free food is among the top five food trends for 2014. Some of the top chains offering gluten free are P.F. Chang's, California Pizza Kitchen,  and Dunkin' Donuts. f) Solution to skin problems People who have celiac and ditch gluten have shown that visible improvements in their skin. Along with this, it also helps in curing skin problems like eczema and psoriasis. Although the research have not yet proved that whether this is due to gluten specifically, to wheat more generally or to a simple switch away from more processed foods. But anyways you have clear skin and it is all that matters! g) Gluten-free foods can be processed, too Gluten may be hiding in some sneaky places so be smart with your food selection. To your surprise, it may be hiding in veggie burgers, salad dressing, certain supplements or even medications. You'll want to get smart about reading labels before you go in for consumption of any gluten free food too. h) Gluten-free diets can have risks Going gluten-free involves a bit of a learning curve, and it can be especially difficult at the initial level. Those who do so out of medical necessity must be particularly cautious to avoid symptoms and additional health problems.  Those who move to a gluten-free diet may want to work with their doctor and/or a registered Dietician to identify new sources of these nutrients and ensure they are eating properly. So, just be smart with your options and don't forget to consult a doctor before going gluten free as it might create health problems instead of boosting the weight loss process. Being careful is the key to success with gluten free diets! ...

Halasana
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As we all know, yoga is a very effective way of losing weight. It has tremendous proven benefits, which is the reason why everybody thinks about trying it once and once tried, it surely hooks them up. You can't ignore the end number of positive changes you start finding in yourself once you adapt it and make it a part of your routine. There are various poses or asanas that have a great impact on weight loss and today we will discuss in detail about HALASANA. Hala means PLOUGH and Asana means POSE and hence is also known as plough pose and if you do it everyday, you will be amazed to see the way your body transforms. When I learnt it from an expert, it was very difficult to perform as I could not sustain it for more than 30 seconds. But with time, practice, and dedication I can now do it for more than a minute. See how you can do it too.. How to do it? 1. Firstly you need to lie down on your back and keep your feet flat on the floor. 2. Secondly, place your arms by your side and bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor. Slowly raise your legs from the hips. Place your hands on your hips as you raise it and use them as support. 3. Now slowly bend your legs at the hips and try to touch the floor behind your head with your toes and straighten your hands so they are flat on the floor. Exhale while you go up. 4. To return to the lying position, gently roll your back onto the floor, inhale while you come down. Do not drop down suddenly as this might bring injury to your back. 5. Hold this position for 1-2 minutes depending how much can you sustain. With practice, you can go on for long. 6. Repeat this for 3-5 times for better results! How can you benefit from Halasana? 1. It cures constipation and stomach disorders. 2. Halasana helps to reduce both belly and body fat but for that you need to practice it regularly. 3. It also helps to cure bloating. 4. It normalizes high blood pressure. 5. Menstrual disorders in women are cured. 6. It helps to maintain the Blood Sugar Levels in your body. 7. It helps to keep your backbone flexible and strong and hence will help you to perform better during your other set of workouts. 8. With a broad shoulder and a trim waist, it gives a sleek look. Who should not perform this Asana? 1. Avoid doing Halasana during your menstruation period. 2. Once you find out that you are pregnant, you should stop doing Halasana. 3. People with hernia, high BP and back problems should avoid it too. ...

How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain
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Holiday season, is all about celebrating, having fun, and indulging in decadent desserts, rich beverages, and holiday festivities that disrupt your normal eating routine. Most people don’t want to give up any holiday foods, fun, and activities. Indulgence is good.....to a point. Go ahead and enjoy, but make a commitment to celebrate in moderation. This commitment is not a form of self-denial; rather, it is a way to enjoy the indulgences of the season without harming your health. Let's ponder over some smart tricks and strategies which, highlight a simple way to navigate through holiday party food spreads, hectic schedules, and sidelined gym routines without spoiling the fun and enjoyment:- 1. Prefer proteins Proteins play an important role in maintaining and losing weight as they have high satiety value. Some of the tasty high protein food items include turkey, chicken, quinoa, lentils, beans! 2. Use smaller plates It has been observed over years that plate size has a significant role to play in weight loss. Using smaller plates tends to make you full with less quantity of food. So whenever dining out at a restaurant choose the smaller salad plate (7-10 inches) instead of a tray-like one (12 inches or more). 3. Fix it with fiber Fiber is a good natural way to reduce body fat. It does not metabolize fat quicker or more efficiently, but it will help you regulate your weight by decreasing the intake of calories. Snacking on vegetables and high-fiber items like legumes can help keep you fuller, longer & curb cravings for fatty/junk foods. 4. Have sweet moments without sugar Added sugar is very harmful as it increases the risks of cardiovascular diseases and obesity. Stick to natural sugar (fruits, veggies, and whole grains) for taste and reduce the intake of holiday cookies, cakes, and pies only for the time when you’re truly craving! 5. Carbs- Take it easy White is really making you fat - white bread, pastries, and refined sugars (aerated drinks/sodas). The science behind this is that the body breaks down simple carbs quickly, which creates a spike in blood sugar that leaves us feeling hungrier, faster. Prefer the intake of whole grains instead (brown rice, quinoa, couscous, orzo etc.), which have the potential to reduce the dangerous excess abdominal fat. 6. Beware of booze Alcohol has a high level of empty calories. Not only this too much drinking makes you lose the inhibitions around food which results in irresponsible eating. To keep your weight loss regime under control limit your booze intake. Cheers! 7. Have water Drinking water helps you feel full, and, as a result, you tend to consume fewer calories. Pregaming a meal with a glass of water helps in cutting calories. Also, having a good amount of water throughout the day keeps you away from unhealthy munching. 8. Turn down the temptations Food and eyes have a direct relationship - the more we see food, the higher we tend to consume. So face away from the dessert spread to avoid its intake. Also, excessive curbing can backfire sometimes, but moderation can help you get through it effectively. Smartly cave into your cravings to avoid unnecessary bingeing later. 9. Chew gum Popping a piece of sugar-free gum won’t necessarily curb your appetite, but would distract you from unknown popping of food in your mouth as it is already busy. While the long-term effects of gum chewing on weight loss are minimal, studies show it can lower cravings for sweet and salty snacks, and decrease hunger between meals. 10. Make room for healthy fats Not only do you need fat in your diet to provide energy and absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, but it also helps you feel full. Get healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats from avocado, nuts, olive oil, applesauce, banana, flax, etc. Gaining weight is easy and losing it is a time taking process. To make your holidays happy and healthy don't forget to follow these simple tips. Happy traveling! ...

Core Toning & Improving Digestion
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Core Toning Core strength is important for everyone because: 1. The muscles of the mid-body support the weight of the body when standing 2. It helps to minimize pain often felt in one area due to weakness of muscles in another area Lower back pain if often felt because of weakness in either the: 1. Abdominal muscles 2. Lower back muscles Abdominal Muscles Most of the attention that is paid to the abdominal muscles is directed toward the rectus abdominis or the 6-pack.  This is the group of muscles covering the abdominal cavity, housing the organs; which is the outermost muscle from the bottom of the ribs to the navel.  However, there are other muscles in the abdominal region that are essential to proper core strength. 1. Lower abdominals are located below the navel 2. External Obliques are the muscles of the side which are accessible to the touch 3. Internal Obliques are located underneath the external obliques and cannot be touched 4. Transverse Abdominis is located underneath the internal obliques and are the deepest of the abdominal muscles.  This muscle is most important for protection of the spine and internal organs.  This sheet of muscle is also known as the body’s corset as it is the muscle that tightens the mid-section and flattens the belly.   Women who go through pregnancy will experience a dramatic distension of this muscle allowing for the growth of the baby.  Quite often post-pregnancy, the muscle does not return to its original shape and strength.  Exercises targeting this muscle can help in strengthening it and returning it to a flatter shape. Back Muscles There are many muscles of the back as it is very large and complex.  But when it comes to the core, the muscle of interest is the lower back muscle or erector spine. These are two muscles on either side of the spine attaching to the hip bones or pelvis. Pain in the lower back can be due to: 1. Weakness in the lower back muscles 2. Weakness in the abdominal muscles causing lower back pain 3. Standing for extended periods will often cause lower back pain especially with weak lower back muscles. Exercises Crunches: While lying on your back on a bench, lift your shoulders upwards just a few inches, enough to feel full contraction of the rectus abdominis or 6-pack. As there are 3 “rows” of muscles forming this group, there are 3 variations to completely work the area and this is based upon leg positioning.  The upper body movement described above is done with the legs: 1. Forming a 90-degree angle between the upper and lower legs to work the top row 2. Lowering the legs to form a 45-degree angle will target the middle row 3. Feet flat on the floor targets the lower row Obliques are exercised with the same movement describe above except that the body should be turned slightly to one side and then to the other.   Lower abdominals are exercise by lying flat on either a bench or the floor.  The beginning position is with the legs together vertically in the air.  You should be able to feel your tailbone against the bench or floor.  Slowly move your feet over your face while maintaining the legs outstretched.  This contracts the muscle when done slowly!  People often do this movement too quickly which only uses momentum to move the feet from point A to point B rather than by contracting the muscle itself. Transverse Abdominis can be worked on the weight stack/pulley machine by grasping a rope, hands by the side of your head while your knees are on the floor.  The upper leg should remain vertical and only bend forward at the waist. Do not allow your hips to drop during this movement as that is simply using body weight to lift the weight rather than the contraction of the muscle. To correctly work the 6-pack, the spine must curve in the lower back.  To work the transverse muscle, the back remains flat. Digestion During the process of food digestion, the solid food is: 1.  Chewed into small pieces and combines with an enzyme in the saliva and is then swallowed 2. When in the stomach, acids reduce this to a gel-like mixture that moves into the small intestine where most of the nutrients are absorbed into the blood and transported for use. 3. This remaining mixture later leaves the body as solid waste The digestion process can be aided through the consumption of: 1. Dietary fiber which comes in two forms, soluble or insoluble.   A. Soluble fiber will combine with the mixture aiding in the absorption of the nutrients B. Insoluble fiber allows for smooth passage of the mixture through the digestive tract.  This is important as is prevents a build-up of solid waste causing bloating and cramping.   And if movement through the GI tract is too slow, irritation can occur known as diverticulitis or a more chronic condition called diverticulosis. 2. Water is important for the following reasons: A. Ensuring that the mixture traveling through the body is soft B. Hydration of the body, as dehydration, can cause problems with digestion as well as retention of water in the skin and solid waste in the intestinal tract Developing strength in the core muscles while not consuming enough water and fiber to improve digestion might feel like putting a belt around a balloon, both are important.  Most people don’t drink enough water and don’t care about it.  But if you consider that drinking 2-3 liters per day will aid in weight loss by eliminating solid waste and retained water, as well as removing salt from the body, it might become more of a desire. ...

7 reasons you are not losing weight
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Everybody has a few bad habits and some of them may be the reasons why you aren’t able to shed those extra pounds that have been clinging to you since forever. Your first step should be to find out what these bad habits are in the first place so that you can create an effective plan to eliminate them. We’ve combined the most common reasons why you may not be able to lose enough weight no matter how hard you try: 1. You’re not having enough protein Getting too many of your daily calories from carbs (especially simple sugars) and fats is one of the most common ways people sabotage their weight loss efforts. Your body takes twice as long to digest protein compared to carbs, thus making you feel fuller and satiated for longer. Furthermore, protein consumption stabilizes blood sugar levels and reduces cravings. Some great sources of protein include lean beef, poultry, fish, eggs, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, nuts and nut butter, protein powder, whole grains such as quinoa and collard greens. 2. You’re not sleeping enough How is sleep connected to weight loss? Well, here’s the deal – if you’re not getting enough sleep, you will have a lot of trouble trying to shed that extra fat. The reason: your body produces two hormones, leptin, and ghrelin. While leptin stimulates feeling of satiation during a meal and tells you when you’re full, ghrelin increases your appetite. Researchers at the University of Chicago have found that not getting enough sleep elevates ghrelin levels and reduces leptin levels and increases ghrelin levels causing increased cravings for sugary snacks during late night hours. 3. You’ve eliminated certain foods for good When you try to cut off certain foods altogether, you crave for them even more with time. Your diet may be going fantastic right now but like with most people, there will come a point when you will want to call it quits and indulge in your favorite unhealthy foods. Many people think that they have to give up what they love when they’re on a certain diet, which include diets that cut out carbs, sugar, gluten, dairy or fat. This can make a diet unsatisfying and sometimes even unhealthy, especially if you’re cutting out a macro. The solution: have everything in moderation and learn to control your portions. Soon you’ll develop a habit of having an occasional “unhealthy” snack and still enjoy your new lifestyle. 4. You’re grazing too much Let’s face it; most of us have been grazing since we were kids. We would open the fridge every time we pass it and graze the fridge, have a slice of that cake here, and have a spoon of Nutella there and maybe a cookie or two. Unfortunately, this habit follows you till adulthood and you continue to do it thinking it’s harmless to have a tiny bit of everything delicious in the fridge. You’ve just consumed several extra calories which can add up if you do it every day. Plan your meals and avoid snacking unnecessarily. 5. You eat while you’re distracted Eating while browsing the internet, driving, going through your Instagram feed or watching television may cause you to overeat. The solution is to stop eating when you’re focusing on other things or stop getting distracted while you eat. Try to eat slowly so that you can enjoy and respect the nutrients in your food. Chewing more triggers the brain to think that you are eating more, allowing you to eat less than you normally would. 6. You’re not drinking enough water You’re already dehydrated by the time you are thirsty so avoid waiting too long to rehydrate. About 70 percent of your body is water, therefore, try your best to have 8 or more glasses of water per day to replenish your system. When you’re dehydrated, you might feel hungry as well even though it’s not your next meal time yet. Instead of reaching out for a snack, have a glass of water and see if you feel better. Always carry a bottle of water with you so that you are hydrated throughout the day. Drinking plenty of water will also ensure you don’t eat too much during your meals. 7. You’re rewarding yourself with unhealthy food Even if you exercise intensely every day, you need to focus on what you put in your body. Exercise is a way to burn some extra calories, tone and condition your muscles and improve your cardiovascular health. The benefits of exercise are countless, but it cannot replace a healthy diet. Therefore, no matter how much you exercise, avoid rewarding yourself each day with unhealthy food -- it will only add more calories than you spent during your sweat session. ...

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