‘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.

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!!

Exercises for functional fitness for older adults

Wall push-ups

As per various studies, significant health benefits are seen in adults aged 65 years and older who participate in regular physical activity. Even people with some existing illness can exercise which will definitely improve the condition.

Some of the many benefits of exercising in case of older adults are:

  • Proper exercising also slows the ageing of the brain.
  • Exercising at this age helps to improve your strength and thus stay independent.
  • Exercising adds up to one’s energy level too.
  • Diseases like as diabetes, osteoporosis or diseases related to heart can be to avoided by regular exercising too.
  • It also improves your balance thereby preventing accidental falls.
  • Moreover emotional fatigue, depression or anxiety can also be checked.

The types of exercises you can do are many to choose from. However, it is always better to understand your body and accordingly select them where personal trainers play a very important part.

  • Just as the other name of Aerobic activity i.e. ‘endurance activity’ suggests, older adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week in order to stay fit for longer time. You can choose to go for brisk walking, jogging, water aerobics, dancing, cycling, swimming or play tennis – there are ample options of aerobic activities.
  • Many such exercises that older adults should do every day to improve strength, flexibility, and balance are Abdominal Contractions which will help to increase strength in the abdominal muscles.
Abdominal contraction exercise
Abdominal Contraction Exercise – improves strength, flexibility, and balance.

 

 

  • You can do Wall push ups to increase the strength in the chest and shoulders
Wall push-ups
Make your chest and shoulder stronger with wall push-ups!
  • Toe taps are good for strengthening the lower legs and Heel raises are important to strengthen the upper calves. On the other hand, knee lifts strengthens the thighs and the Ankle rotations strengthens the calves.

 

  • Another very important thing for older adults is Balance Boosters. It is very common that accidental falls leads to injury for many elderly people. To avoid such situations, you should incorporate balance exercises in your exercise regimen. Doing balance exercises, such as Shifting Weights or Single leg balance or Tai chi orYoga will make it easier to walk on uneven surfaces without losing balance.

However, it is always advisable to talk to your doctor if you have any chronic health condition or even any symptoms before starting a physical activity program.

So cheers to long and healthy living with functional exercising!

CORE TRAINING

Plank

Core refers to the muscles around our trunk and pelvis i.e. the abs, chest, back and down to the pelvic floor. Our functional movements are highly dependent on this part of the body. Lack of strength in these areas, affects our stability. Core stability is very important to protect our spine and surrounding musculature from injury.

You must have noticed that fitness trainers at the gym, always reminds us to engage the core when doing exercises. Core exercises train the muscles in our pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen to work in harmony which in turn gives us a better balance and stability.

Core muscles are important as they serve as a base for strength, power, endurance and coordination. Attaining core strength means acquiring proper posture and saving the back from injuries while doing rapid movements or while lifting weights.

In order to evaluate our core strength, we must check our static core strength, dynamic core strength and posterior core strength. Exercises like plank, side plank helps to understand the static core strength while the knees to chest and toes to bar, hanging leg raises analyses the dynamic core strength. The dead lifts are for the posterior core stability.

There are numerous exercises for attainting the core strength like –

  • Planks
Plank
Plank helps to develop strength in the core, shoulders and arms.
  • Side Planks
Side Plank
Start doing Side Planks – to achieve a strong core and abs of steel !
  • Hanging Leg Raises
Hanging Leg Raises
Hanging Leg Raises – One of the best exercises for developing abdominal and core strength.
  • Deadlifts
Deadlifts
Deadlifts – the key core strength building exercise.

However, it is very important to correct our postures while training ourselves with the above mentioned core exercises. There are many professional personal trainers in Singapore who can train the correct form and guide us to attain the stronger self. So without any more delay, let’s focus on building core stability first and then, proceed to build our core strength!

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!

FUNCTIONAL FITNESS

Functional fitness exercises

In the first place, it is very important to understand that, we need to train for life and not for events. Functional fitness is all about training ourselves to build a stronger body for our everyday activities. This fitness cum weight loss program is a bridge between personal training and physical therapy.

How we benefit from Functional exercises :-

  • Strengthen muscles – The target of functional exercises is to strengthen various muscle groups of our body. When our muscles are strong, it improves the overall physical stability and thus helps us to perform daily activities with minimum risks and greater ease.
  • Brings in balance and coordination – Functional exercises include various exercises like single leg balance exercises, lunges, step-ups etc all of which trains our body to balance and coordinate and thereby create a synergy within our body.
Functional fitness exercises
Functional fitness – improves balance & coordination

 

  • Good posture – We all fall prey to bad postures through our day to day activities. People with desk bound jobs often suffer with spinal issues. Functional fitness exercises are a solution to such bad posture problems.
  • Improves muscle memory – Functional fitness involves repetition of same exercises in few sets which boosts our muscle memory as they exercise our brain too.
  • Core strength and stability – Functional fitness exercises like crunches helps to strengthen our core and in turn betters our spine too.
Functional Exercises
A strong core means ownership of power, strength and stability

 

  • Power – Functional exercises focus on both upper and lower body. Multiple reps of exercises like push-ups, squats, bur pees helps to develop total body strength and power. This further helps us to move quickly in real life activities.
  • Reduces joint pains – Functional fitness helps the body to get back to basics i.e back to the form it is designed to move and perform. These exercises are very beneficial for chronic joint pains in back, neck or knee.
Goodbye to joint pains with functional fitness exercises
Do functional fitness exercises today and forget joint pains of tomorrow!

 

So, the idea is to stay fit year-round. Personal trainers teach these functional exercises which helps to train the muscles and prepare them to perform daily tasks proficiently. So get in touch with the right weight loss trainer or bodybuilding trainer  and get more functionally fit!

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