We’ve settled into 2019 quite well, all our party spells are off and its time to face the reality-Where do we stand in terms of health and fitness? A month down and if you are still diligently working out in a quest to lose weight or stay healthy hats off to your motivation and attempt. Don’t bother whether it’s a New Year Resolution or you are fed up with the current exercise routine as there are numerous ways to pep up your energy levels and introduce variety into the workout schedule.
Every year, fitness professionals across the world take a survey on the exercises that are sure to take the next year by storm. These exercises are not short-term ones or fads but authentic ones that’s been trending and surprisingly, many of them had earned their spot during the previous year too! The American Council of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has been conducting this survey since 2006 and 2019 marks the 13th year of it. Can’t wait to get your hands on the latest exercise trends to look forward to in 2019? Read below and start planning:
Wearable Technology: First appearing in the year 2016 and occupying the No.1 position until 2017 it dropped to No.3 in the year 2018. The year 2019 seems to be yet another favorable one for this trend as it occupies numero uno position again. This is all due to the increase in accuracy, affordability (compared to previous prices) and popularity that wearable devices such as smartwatches, fitness trackers and heart rate monitors have flooded the markets. These gadgets help in identifying the number of steps you take in a day, heartbeat and even your stress levels.
Group Training: Anything more than five in number is a group class and up to five would be termed as a group personal class. Having a close friend at the gym who encourages you with your workout? Its awesome news as group training has become a potential trend with a large number of people interested in working out as a group. The effects of these classes mainly depend on the instructor’s leadership qualities and the ability to motivate his/her students. Group classes offer much more benefits and for more details on these please visit the website www.firsteatright.com.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): HIIT has not disappointed us this year too occupying a place for itself in the top five since 2014. This trend was a ravishing hit in the year 2018 and includes short bouts of high-intensity exercise followed by a short period of rest. While fitness professionals have sent several warnings about potential injuries to public this exercise form seems to hold a primary role in gyms.
Fitness Programs for Older Adults: Every baby boomer and older adult nowadays wants to participate in walkathons and even marathons steadily showing their inclination towards better health and exercising. While this trend was in No.9 spot last year the growing interest in this segment of people offers the fitness industry and gyms to capitalize on this growing market.
Bodyweight Training: The concept is wholly based on using bodyweight as the training modality. This uses minimal equipment making it an inexpensive way of exercising and is garnering attention among the general public and gym across the world.
Employing Certified Fitness Professionals: The first question that you and I ask before enrolling in a gym is whether they have a certified fitness trainer. Gone are the days when the coach simply helped us use the gym machines and taught us a few exercises. Individuals are becoming weight conscious, health conscious and wish to workout for specific body parts. The presence of a certified trainer/coach in gyms and fitness centers is becoming more important than ever.
Yoga: Originating from India we even have a day dedicated to this trend (June 21). This is one of the best exercise forms that’s simple and doable by anyone of any age. This trend appears on the list after a couple of years and its revival is mainly due to the variety of forms (such as power yoga and hot yoga) available since the past few years.
Personal Training: Some years back people had the mindset that personal training was for the elite, celebrities or millionaires. But now, many of us opt for personal training classes where the instructor works one on one with the client teaching specific exercises and workouts suiting the client’s needs. Since 2006, personal training has always occupied a spot in the top ten list.
Functional Fitness Training: This trend is towards strength training and other exercises that improve balance, coordination, strength and endurance to improve efficiency of activities done daily. There are some trainers who pair this with fitness programs for older adults.
Exercise is Medicine (EIM): Wouldn’t it be lovely to prescribe exercise as a medicine for illness? That’s exactly what EIM is focused on. It motivates physicians to include physical activity assessment and prescribe necessary treatment recommendations (such as refer them to exercise professionals) as a part of the patient visit.
Blood pressure has once again proved itself to be a silent killer! Its effect on stroke is two-dimensional. BP has the potential to increase the risk of stroke and once stroke affects the person it has the potential to increase the risk of death. Stroke is one of the deadliest conditions that can have debilitating effects on a person when it is not diagnosed immediately. The chances of recovery depend on how soon or late the person was diagnosed with stroke. Though men are maximum affected by stroke it’s more than 60% of women population who suffer from death due to stroke.
While anxiety, frustration, mood swings, depression and irritation are commonly seen in individuals after stroke (when the part of the brain dealing with emotions is affected) there are bigger problems that can collapse the entire rehabilitation program and worsen a person’s life.
A group of researchers wanted to understand whether fluctuating blood pressure readings after stroke could increase the risk of death. For this, they analyzed 1,947 patients for their BP readings some four or five times within 24 hours of stroke. After controlling various factors, they found that patients whose readings had increased systolic blood pressure measurements (the higher number) were at an increased risk of death within 90 days. The research team also came up with a suggestion that such BP variations could be corrected with calcium channel blockers (this helps to decrease variability) rather than using beta blockers that increase variability in readings. But this has been revoked by few others who feel that BP medications just to control variations are not acceptable and one must look at various other underlying factors. There are serious doubts whether such fluctuations are due to other conditions such as high levels of inflammation or stiff arteries.
Fluctuations in blood pressure, sugar, cholesterol and body mass index has the potential to increase the risk of stroke and heart attack in individuals. A study on this showed that those with larger variations were at a maximum risk of death followed by risk of heart attack and stroke. The study also showed that those with maximum risk belonged to the older age group and were mostly women. Above all this, the one point mentioned by this research team that calls for maximum attention is that almost 99% health problems linked to heart attack and stroke are due to our lifestyles. So again, the ball is in our court.
Style has ruled our wardrobes but has never bothered us to change our approach to life-Yes, of course I am talking about lifestyle. Take up a discussion on any disease or disorder and finally we end up blaming our lifestyle other than a few rare ones for which genes are blamable. Despite its importance why don’t we ever bother to patch up our hard feelings towards our lifestyle and live a better life? Maybe the time has come now to roll up your sleeves and start redesigning your life for better health, wellness and peace. Why don’t you achieve ultimate success in in this endeavor by getting in touch with reputed dietitians and nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com who have the potential to revamp your eating habits and physical activity routines for the better?
Your smartphone is sure to make you less smart. Personally, smartphone is one of the best as well as worst inventions of mankind. It depends on how it is used, who is using it and when it is used-all of these relying on a person’s discipline and willpower, which many of us lack.
Smartphones are an object of convenience and connectivity. They make the world seem a small one at our fingertips, enable us to trade stocks lying in the convenience of our couch, shop online standing in a queue, find romantic partners between office meetings, transfer money to our loved ones in the click of a button and share live experiences to people living across the globe. A research shows that 91% people never leave their home without their smartphone while 46% accept that they can never live without one. Most of us look at our smartphones first thing in the morning, last thing in the night and sometimes even check them during the middle of the night.
Let’s assume a scenario where you are given a couple of math problems to solve which needs your complete focus. In between solving this, you are also asked to remember a couple of random phone numbers which makes it tougher. Meantime, the sound of jarring music or loud chatter can disturb us extremely when we are trying to focus on the problem at hand. But, what is the role of a smartphone in all this hustle and bustle? The answers are given by the latest study that shows that the simple existence of a smartphone (you don’t even have to look at it, receive calls or text messages) is good enough to disrupt and impair cognitive ability. It clearly shows that smartphones may induce ‘brain drain’ as it is the same set of attention resources that support attention control and cognitive processes. Attention given to our phones sets a deficiency in attention resources given to cognitive abilities.
The Story Goes Like This
The study involved a group of 520 students who were asked to complete a series of tasks that required their focus, attention and problem-solving skills. The students were split into three groups-the first group was asked to place their smartphones in another room, the second group was asked to keep it where they usually do and the third group was asked to keep their phones on the desk besides them. The performance of the students totally depended on the placement of the smartphones:
Only a decade back if someone had told that we would be connect to each other in real-time, we would have laughed on the person’s face. While the state of being constantly connected to someone was impossible a few years back, it is indispensable now! Smartphones pave way for more time, resources and knowledge but also create space for decline in cognitive ability and social interaction.
In a world surrounded by myths, controversies and falsities one can never be sure of something unless it is double-checked. Weight lifting in a woman’s life has always been a hot topic of discussion until now. A pair of dumbbells of different weights is a common sight in a guy’s house whereas we’ve never come across the same in a girl’s exercise room which is mostly stacked with a hoopla ring, a big exercise ball and a yoga mat. There is no shortage of talks and discussions on equality and women’s liberation but why do people still go behind age-old myths and ideas surrounding a woman’s lifestyle? Can the dumbbell never replace a hoopla ring or the bicep curls see the limelight?
Be Clear of the Basics
Most women never lift the weights fearing that it will make them ‘get big’ which cannot be further away from the truth. On the other hand, women who do weight lift don’t look beyond the 3 kg dumbbell that they workout with every week continuously but do brood over the fact that they don’t witness a significant change in their physique. The principles given here help any of those with a wavering mind on picking a pair of dumbbells and working out.
Go for Heavy Weights
Women find it easier to rely upon the weights that they are most comfortable with and perform all of their sets with the same pair of dumbbells. Remember that one needs a stimulus on the muscle to stimulate muscle growth and there is this impending need of a greater stimulus to witness an evident change. Get out of your comfort zone and apply greater physiological demands on your muscles to achieve target. Trick the mind into this, tune it for such a workout and you would be amazed to witness greater improvements in muscle gain and strength as well. Women interested in bodybuilding can get tips from the website www.firsteatright.com.
Don’t Underestimate Yourself
Our thoughts and actions are a reflection of the world around us. When the surrounding people discourage or advise women against lifting weights all that she does is either refrain from it or underestimate her potential and choose lighter weights. This is a grave mistake which needs to be corrected. Choose a weight that you would be able to do it 80% times with the remaining 20% being challenging to your body. Start exercising and when you feel that you cannot do anymore of it either reduce the weight further down or take rest in between. The ultimate goal is to life weights and reap health benefits, not to lift weights and get hurt.
Sets and Reps
Ideologies differ and it always better to stick with those that make you comfortable. Experts recommend doing 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps of any exercise to build muscles. Remember that you gain muscle strength by lifting heavier weights and doing fewer repetitions (3-6 times) and muscle endurance by lifting lighter weights and doing higher repetitions. Taking rest between sets helps you gain strength but if muscle size is your ultimate aim it is advisable to reduce the amount of rest that you take between sets.
Regularity and consistency are two important aspects for gaining muscles. Weight train 4-5 times a week for muscle strength and gain. It is advisable to maintain a journal jotting down the sets, reps and weights used during each workout. Also keep note of whether you are doing total-body workout, upper- or lower-body workout or focusing on two or three body parts per workout during the weight-training sessions.
Go for the Right Exercises
There are a variety of exercises that help one in gaining muscle mass. It is advisable to perform those exercises that require larger muscle groups first (for instance, squats, deadlifts, bench press, lat pull-downs and overhead press). A greater part of your energy is expelled while doing this but you still have the energy to do smaller movements during the latter part of the workout. It is recommended to do between 6 and 8 workouts on any given day.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.