‘Yoga’ and the better ‘us’

Ashtanga Yoga

The origin of the discipline “Yoga” is in India. It is not only a physical but also a spiritual practice that helps us to reduce our body weight and also stabilize our mind. Modern forms of yoga encourage exercising, focusing on our strength, physical and mental well-being and flexibility.

There are so many variations of Yoga like – Hatha yoga, Iyengar yoga, Yin yoga, Yogalates, Power yoga, Yogasthenics etc. Our fitness level determines the type of yoga class is best suited for us. So it is best to consult a doctor and have a personal yoga instructor to guide us with the right techniques.

Some of the various types of Yoga –

  • Ashtanga Yoga – It is based on ancient yoga teachings. It synchronizes our breathing and movement in the asanas. Amongst many other benefits this asana helps to improve our blood circulation, removes toxins from our body and betters the joint pains.
Ashtanga Yoga
Ashtanga Yoga – An asana for improving our blood circulation
  • Bikram Yoga – This yoga is held in an artificially heated room of 105 degrees! This form of yoga helps to stretch our body, relieve stress, tone and detoxify our body. It also helps to heal pains like arthritis, knee pains or even back problems.
Bikram Yoga
Bikram Yoga – The hot yoga style to detoxify our body
  • Iyengar Yoga – This form tries to find correct alignment in each posture by using different props like blocks, straps, blankets etc.
  • Kundalini yoga: It is a form of yoga where we meditate to release kundalini energy. Kundalini yoga class starts with chanting and ends with singing along with meditation and pranayama.
  • Hatha Yoga – Traditionally, Hatha yoga brings peace to the mind and body thereby preparing it for deeper spiritual practices. This style is more gentle and slow. It is great for beginners.
Hatha Yoga
Practice Hatha Yoga for peace of body and mind.
  • Jivamukti Yoga – It traditionally means “liberation while living”. According to David and Sharon, ‘there are too many positive physical benefits to list but the main thing is “you build up a body of light” and feel more comfortable with who you are’. Jivamukti yoga, includes, meditation, chanting, pranayama etc.
  • Prenatal yoga – These are yoga for the pregnant people. This yoga is designed to help pregnant woman in all stages of her pregnancy. Moreover, it also helps to get back to shape post pregnancy faster.

The above mentioned forms are only a few of the varied typologies of Yoga. The list is really a never ending one!

 

Major Benefits of doing Yoga –

  • Increases our physical strength, balance and flexibility – From ages Yoga has been a major inspiration for many across the globe. It is a safe and very effective workout style which helps to increase our physical strength, balance and flexibility.
  • Prevents the elderly from sudden falls and injuries – Injuries due to accidental falls amongst older people are very common and a global health concern. Yoga helps to improve our body balance and thus prevents the elderly from sudden falls.
  • Yoga is very good during and post pregnancy – It is even advised to pregnant women to go for yoga classes as it helps to experience fewer problems in pregnancy and labor.
  • Anxiety and depression – Yoga is a powerful treatment for depression and anxiety.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease – This disease also called as GERD is greatly benefited with Yoga practice. Regular practice of Yoga like Kapalbhati and Agnisar kriya improves GERD to a great level.
  • Yoga is like a treatment Doing yoga is good for people suffering from Arthritis and Asthma. It is also beneficial for people with bipolar disorder. It also works significantly for patients suffering with Migraine.
  • It reduces cancer related fatigue and breast cancer cognitive problems – Survivors of cancer often report cognitive problems, yoga can effectively reduce cognitive problems in survivors of breast cancer.
  • Yoga improves chronic neck pain and chronic heart failure – Studies revealed that regular yoga practice improves chronic neck pain or any neck-related disabilities or problems. Yoga has also significant positive effects on cardiac function. People under cardiac rehabilitation Yoga programs have had markedly stable health impacts.
  • Flexibility- Yogacan make our body more flexible. Yoga has positions that act upon the whole body which in turn stretches the muscles as well as the joints.

However it also true that Yoga is challenging for beginners. Moreover if the postures are incorrect it will not help on the contrary we might injure ourselves. Therefore it is always suggested that we should take the help of a Yoga master or Yoga trainer to learn it properly to yield maximum benefits from it.

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Fitness with the UGI Ball

UGI Ball plank mountai climbers

One of the hot favourites in the world of fitness is the UGI Ball. It is a great buddy for workout as it does not restrict us to exercise only in the gym. We can work out with it at home or carry to a hotel or beach while on vacation!

Since it is a hybrid of a medicine ball and stability ball, we can kneel on it, stand on it, and do our planks or crunches. However the trick is, the softness of the ball makes the surface unstable and thus our body has to work harder. In the process it helps to lose more!

It is a 30-minute full body workout routine but it makes workouts fun. Using UGI is awesome to work on our body balance, to build our core strength and also helps to strengthen and stabilize our muscles. It is recommended by various fitness trainers or personal trainers as well to their clients who look forward to achieve that dream body but in a fun way.

This UGI Ball can be used variously for various exercises like –

  • Dips
Dips with UGI Ball
Dips are great to get our upper body tonned!

Dips are a very good workout if our target is to tone Upper Body. We should start in a bridge position, keeping our hands on the ball and feet should be flat on the floor. One thing very important here is that we should keep our lower back close to the UGI Ball. Now all we need to do is to bend our elbows in order to lower our butt without touching the floor. After this we need to extend our elbows to return to the starting position. Now repeat.

 

  • Right & Left Leg Lifts
    Right & Left Leg Lifts
    UGI Balls – Great for Right & Left Leg Lifts.

    This Right and Left leg lifts are good when we target to lose fat and tone our Lower Body. It is quite easy too. All we need to do is to balance our right/left knee on the UGI ball. Now we need to extend our other leg straight out with toes pointed to the side. We must remember to keep our leg straight and toes pointed and then raise our extended leg up and down. Throughout the workout we must focus to keep our Abs tight and maintain a flat back. Now we have switch sides and repeat the same on the other leg.

  • Plank Mountain Climbers
UGI Ball plank mountai climbers
Plank Mountain Climbers using the UGI Ball

Another great way to use this ball is to do Plank Mountain Climbers. This is a great Cardio workout that helps to get our heart rate up. We should always begin in a plank position keeping our forearms resting on the ball. We need to keep our legs straight and feet on floor. After this position is set all we have to do is to alternately drive our knees towards chest. Our back should be flat throughout the exercise.

The UGI Ball enables us with so many various forms of exercises UGI Caterpillar, Toss and catch UGI, UGI Swing, Side Lunge Jumps with UGI, V-Ups, Reverse Lunges with Shoulder lifts, UGI Push ups to Jump Squats etc.

This great exercise ball helps us to workout with versatility and thereby enables us with cardio, strength training and core training. UGI Ball thus helps us with a full-body workout.

So without any further delay, let’s get our own UGI Ball and start working out today with a personal trainer to guide us with the correct postures!!

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BODY COMBAT EXERCISES

Body Combat- Mixed Martial Art Workouts

Running is one of the most effective cardio exercises but not always enjoyed by everyone. An alternative to this is a Body Combat workout routine that includes aerobics, muscle strengthening, flexibility, core strengthening, fat loss, stretching and balancing.

This Body Combat is an action packed workout that guarantees to make us sweat and pumps our heart to a rapid rate.

Body combat which is a combination of Kickboxing, Karate, Muay Thai, Tai Chi, Tae Kwon Do etc has no. of benefits :-

Body Combat- Mixed Martial Art Workouts
Body Combat- Mixed Martial Art Workouts
  • Improves the cardiovascular fitness – This repetitive high intensity workout routine is a massive calorie burner and thus aids to improve the cardiovascular functions of our body.
  • Helps in weight loss – Body combat being a combination of all the above mentioned forms, helps to burn on an average of 600-750 calories for an hour workout. This intense form of workout serves as a weight loss program and thus helps to lose fat.
  • Helps to tone the muscles – Body combat is a full body workout that trains both the upper and the lower body to transform it in a defined shape and thus helps to tone the muscles.
Body Combat - helps to tone up muscles.
Body Combat helps in muscle toning.
  • Body combat is a big time stress reliever – These power-packed classes carry a strong positive energy which acts as a therapeutic treatment for people in immense stress and pressure. This in turn acts as a stress reliever.
  • Helps to improve bone density – Body combat exercises allows to use low weight and advocates high repetition resistance training which in turn increases our bone density.
  • Helps to boost self confidence – Engaging in body combat exercises is a great way to release negative energy. We feel very positive after a body combat exercise or a group class which in turn helps to stimulate our confidence in ourselves.

So there is no excuse to stay away from this amazing workout! Get in touch with personal trainers in Singapore who will guide and train you with body combat exercises that will help you to achieve the self you always wanted!

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LIIT | Low Intensity Interval Training – The new HIIT

 

LOW INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING (LIIT) VS HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING (HIIT)

We all are aware of the Rabbit vs Turtle race. This is a learning lesson in our day to day practical life. When it comes to exercise or fitness training, we might start off with full stamina and confidence but get tired or injured very soon and end up taking long breaks from our workout routine to recover. What happens in the process is we fall prey to bad internal damages. Today, it is much wiser to follow the ‘Turtle way’ and go slow but steady in order to win the race of a ‘fit life’.

Low Intensity Interval Training
Forget the severe muscle cramps and hop into LIIT

LIIT OR HIIT

There has been a significant shift from HIIT to LIIT off late realizing the benefits of the later. HIITis definitely effective, but it comes along with the slogan-“No pain no gain”. For many of us specially, people with some prior injuries or elderly, HIIT thus become a big challenge. Studies show today, many people prefer to choose LIIT over HIIT.

LIIT – THE BENEFITS

  • It is the best form of workout for beginners or people recovering from any injury.
  • These workouts are programmed with low intensity thus are easier on our joints.
  • It can be easily opted by elderly people who cannot go for high intensity workouts.
  • Since it leaves us with almost no injuries, we can be more consistent with our workout routine.
  • LIIT helps to build up stamina before you opt for higher intensity exercises.
  • It is very helpful for people having issues like anaemia, thyroid etc.
  • It has a steady positive result and thus brings us close to that fit self we dream of.

HELP US TO HELP YOU

However, every body type is different from one another and so is our demands and capacity. Whether you choose HIIT or LIIT the main idea is to work towards leading a healthy and fit life. So don’t let your today ruin your tomorrow. Get up, find yourself a fitness coach or a  workout partner or a fitness trainer and achieve an overall health and fitness all year round!

 

 

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Importance of Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) in weight loss

weight loss StringsSG

Understanding your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) could be the key to your journey for a fitter body.

What is BMR?

BMR is the amount of calorie your body burns in a day with doing nothing. Do not confuse BMR with BMI (Body Mass Index), they are completely different. Our body is like a machine and in order to operate, it needs energy in the form calories to operate, which is the fuel to our body. Our body not only burns calories while doing cardio or strength training, but also while we are just sitting or even even sleeping. Our brain also burn a significant amount of calories for it to function. So, calorie is burnt by just being idle, the total amount of calorie burnt in a day in such state is called BMR.

What is your BMR?

BMR varies from person to person. You can use the tool on https://manytools.org/handy/bmr-calculator/ to get your approximate BMR. To be more accurate, you could try BMR measuring scales available in the market, but they could be expensive and may cost somewhere between $50 to $200, depending on how much accurate they can be. The other way is walk-in to a fitness center and check if they can calculate it for you, usually every modern fitness center has the machine.

Why knowing your BMR is important?

You are bound to lose weight when your amount of calorie intake in a day is less than the calories burnt by your body in a day. A positive calorie deficit will cut down your weight and a negative calorie deficit will result in weight gain.

The math is -> Calorie Deficit = BMR – Calorie intake in a day

So the higher your BMR is, the more you can eat and still not gain weight.

Can you increase your BMR?

Yes, you can. It is proven that, the amount of muscle mass in your body is directly proportional to your BMR. So the target should be to increase your muscle mass. Adapting to strength training and adding sufficient protein to your diet can help increase or maintain muscle mass.

If you need a personal trainer to guide you with workout and diet plan, you can request one here.

Will starving put you on a Calorie Deficit?

Yes, not eating enough food can put you on a calorie deficit mode and you will lose weight, but in the long run your body gets used to it and brings down your BMR which may have adverse effect. So I do not recommend starving. What is advised is to top-up you calorie burnt by being active. You could add cardio or strength training to your daily habits based on your comfort level, while adding both is the best. This will also keep you on a calorie deficit mode without hampering your BMR or may increase your BMR as well.

Healthy Diet StringsSG
Healthy Diet
Should I be selective about what I eat?

100 grams of chocolate has around 546 calories while 100 grams of carrots is only 41 calories. So you can fill your stomach with low calorie food without starving, you just need to pick the right food. We would not recommend a very strict diet unless you want to compete, as sticking to a strict diet gets difficult in the long run and off course you want to use your taste buds gifted by god. Try to stay away from anything that is sweet, especially chocolates, ice-creams and soda as much as possible. Choose whole fruits over fruit juice. You could cheat on your meals once a while with your favorite food. Our Fitness Trainer can help with a proper diet plan that suits your life style.

We hope you liked reading this article and have a better knowledge on BMR. Please leave your comments and feedback. Follow us on Facebook.

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Life style changes to lose excess body fat

Fitness Trainer Singapore

If you are reading this, you most probably want to lose that extra layer of fat. Congrats! you are at the right place! If you do not suffer from a thyroid glands dysfunction but still have an issue with increasing waistline, all you need is to change your lifestyle. If you are honest to yourself, you probably have one or more of the following habits:

  • Your last meal of the day is after 8 pm and it’s mostly rice, bread, noodles or pasta.
  • You sleep late and wake up late in the morning.
  • You find yourself munching on potato chips, fries or other fast foods.
  • You just love carbs! Bread, rice, noodles, pasta etc.
  • You do not drink eight glasses of water a day.
  • You drink canned beverages or fruit juices.
  • You skip meals.
  • You do not have a healthy and nutritious diet.
  • You have a desk job and you are physically less active.

Request for a Personal Trainer

weight loss StringsSG
Extreme weight loss

 

I want you to do just the opposite…

Have an early Dinner

You should be done with your dinner no later than 8 pm. No need to change what you eat, but yes, do change the quantity. Reduce the portion of carbs like rice, pasta or bread by 75% and replace it with vegetables, chicken breast, turkey or fish. If you badly need red meat, feeding on them once or twice a week is not a problem.

Sleep early and wake up early in the morning

Sleeping late is perhaps the worst habit one can have. When you are awake late at night, your body releases a hormone called cortisol which is responsible for many health problems like high blood pressure, hypertension etc. Sleeping late means, you call for more bad skin, dark circles and obesity.
Yes, sometimes due to work and other mundane stuffs, we do get late but if you try and make this small change, eventually you will place yourself in a win-win situation. Remember, here, you are opting for a better body, giving yourself an opportunity and as the saying goes “opportunities are like sunrises” so don’t miss that sunrise! Wake up… wake up and go for a walk to start your day right.

Munching can be fun with healthier choices as well

You probably have had a bad day, fatigued and starved; all you want is to throw up in your comfy couch and a bag of chips or fried delicacies. Stop! This is where all those extra calories come from. Instead try to snack on nuts, protein bars, Greek yogurt, fruits… the options are plenty!

Healthy Diet StringsSG
Healthy Diet
Don’t let Carbs be your best friend

I know carbohydrates are a big time stress buster. It is perhaps the best reward food that anyone easily falls for. But what is alarming is the increasing rate of ‘obese carbohydrate craver’ and I am sure you would not like to be the one. So the question is “Can’t I eat cabs at all”? Off course you can indulge yourself into complex carbs like green vegetables, wholegrain foods etc instead of simple or processed ones. Unlike simple carbs which instantly converts to glucose, complex carbs break down at a much slower rate and thereby maintains a steady flow of energy to your body. They are rich in fiber and also reduces the level of bad cholesterol (LDL). Hence try to eat more complex carbs like Oats, Yogurt, Kidney beans, Brown rice, Broccoli, Spinach, and Grapefruits etc.

Drink plenty of water

‘Water is life’… yes it absolutely is! However, we tend to drink lot of other drinks the whole day but not water. Water has zero calories and so many health benefits like it boosts metabolism, flushes out toxins, boosts the immune system etc. If your goal is to lose weight, have a healthy looking skin and a good health; then you must drink at least 8 glasses of water a day… the more the better.

Avoid those canned Beverages

Yes, when you are thirsty and tired, you do crave for that bottled drink which gives you immense satisfaction. But have you ever thought how does that 300ml drink satisfy your cravings? The truth is these pre-packed bottles are loaded with sugar which instantly raises your sugar level and thus boosts your calorie intake. However, if you think wisely all you needed was a glass of water and not these empty calories which just added on to your carbs intake for the day with no nutrition added.

Skipping meal is not an option

If you think that by not eating a meal you will be able to reach your goal… then my friend you are wrong. Losing on your scale has to be done in a healthy manner and not by starving yourself. Skipping meal means lowering your metabolism and thereby helping your body to gain fat. On the contrary the idea is to control your portions and eating healthy.

You must have a healthy and nutritious diet

Your diet is like your bank account and hence good food choices are like good investments! So next time you plate yourself, ensure that you have incorporated 40% vegetables, 30% protein,15% healthy fat and 15% complex carbs. Your diet should be simple and real food. Remember, the key to a good body is 80% good eating habit and 20% exercise.

Be more active

Try to give yourself that extra push needed to achieve your desirable waistline. Yes, it is tiring to hit the gym after day’s work and sometimes time is a constrain too. However an hour of walk or run will work wonders for you. You might not get involved into hard core weight training but can always engage into some other forms of exercises like swimming or a sport of your choice. All you need is to burn out those extra calories of the day that your body doesn’t need.

What StringsSG has to offer

All being said, I do agree that in todays’ fast pace life, it is difficult to follow these little dos and don’ts. All you need is a proper guidance from someone who is thinking on your behalf and guiding you through your journey. StringsSG brings you closer to that guidance… that fitness professional who would understand your goals, your lifestyle and accordingly plan a well fitted workout and the best diet for you.

Personal Trainer Singapore
Personal Trainer

All you need is to:

  • Submit your request with your goals, budget, availability etc. at StringsSG.
  • View responses from fitness trainers with higher match percentage to your criteria.
  • You may choose to initiate conversation with fitness trainers using the integrated chat system.
  • Before finalizing on the trainer, make sure to view their profile ratings and reviews.

So losing weight has no more excuses once you are with StringsSG! Let StringsSG make the journey easy and attractive for you.
Good luck from the Team!!

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