Tag Archives: Fitness

Intra Workout Drink – What to drink during your workouts?

I used to think the term BCAA(branch chain amino acids)  was synonymous to an intra workout drink.  Yes the same heavily marketed BCAA’s which have amazing flavors and are pushed by supplement stores.

But my ACSM certification in nutrition  has helped me understand what to look for in an Ideal Intra Workout Drink.

Firstly , I am not against using BCAA’s but most people treat them as purely an intra workout drink without understanding what they are made of and meant for. This lack of knowledge has many implications in the long run.

The Scientific Breakdown of BCAA

Branched chain amino acids (BCAA) are the building blocks of protein. These are essential for muscle growth and recovery, and can be consumed throughout the day. Having them together with a high protein diet leads to excessive uric acid which is detrimental to bone health.

Treating  BCAA as an intra workout drink(if managed well with the protein you take daily)  is not wrong, but during a workout your body needs some other elements to enhance performance and prevent dehydration.

Here is what your body requires during a workout.

Components of an Ideal Intra Workout Drink

  1. Energy

During a workout your body needs instant energy as it has to undergo excessive stress. For this a high glycemic carbohydrate is ideal. (something which immediately provides energy, without much need to be broken down). The simplest  and fastest dissolving form of Carbohydrate is glucose. Thus glucose should be one of the components of an ideal intra workout drink.

2. Electrolytes 

The body looses water in the form of perspiration(sweating) during a workout.  Along with sweat, the body also loses essential salts, which need to be replaced. Here are some of them and their functions.. intra workout drink

3. Tonicity- Water enters and exits body cells by the process of osmosis. Wherein it travels from its higher concentration to its lower concentration through the semi permeable cell wall.  In simple words water moves from a solution where it is present in abundance to the solution where it is lesser. This is maintained by the electrolytes mentioned above.

Based upon the tonicity drinks can be classified in to :

  • Isotonic sport drinks contain similar concentrations of salt and sugar as in the human body.
  • Hypertonic sport drinks contain a higher concentration of salt and sugar than the human body.
  • Hypotonic sport drinks contain a lower concentration of salt and sugar than the human body.

The best suited among these for your intra workout drink is an isotonic drink.

Why Drinking Water is Not enough?

Pure water is not an ideal intra workout drink as it might help you quench thirst but it will not ensure proper hydration. Water provides no sodium, which helps the body hold onto water and helps fluid get to the right places in the body, like muscles and blood.

What do I recommend?

There are a number of ways in which you can make an isotonic drink at home. But I choose to use Enerzal . As it has all the essential elements of an ideal intra workout drink. intra workout drink

Do give it a try and no they dint pay me for saying this, yet.

 

4 Reasons to Start Designing your Health Plan this Weekend

The weekend offers a time to relax and recuperate from the stresses of the week. It is when you make time for things you don’t do usually. Like working on passions, being happy, spending time with family or even sleeping.
 
Funny how life has taken this form. Chasing ultimate wealth has taken our attention from the gifts we already have. Although every day offers 24 hours, everybody has a shortage of time for themselves.
 
Such are the burdens of work. All your self improvement plans keep getting postponed from one weekend to another. Yet, if the boss or a client gives you a new chunk of work, you abuse the hell out of them,  but complete the work on time.
 
This exhibits how lazy humans are about self improvement. The only reason they don’t find time is because they don’t make time. Yet, as time passes, the decision of making health a part of everyday lifestyle slips away from our hands. Your constant ignorance makes you prone to diseases  which lead the way to hospitals. But if you choose to create a health plan, you can prevent yourself a lot of trouble and save yourself a lot of money.

health plan

The number of fat bellies I see around is growing like the number of junk food stores. People are so driven to get much and wanting more that they overlook their health altogether. Yes, creating a big business or doing any job requires singularity of purpose. But in the mad chase for money and power, you forget your body, which makes you capable of doing everything you do.
 
But sooner or later this ignorance reaps consequences. Your lack of interest towards your health makes you handicapped physically or mentally. You become dependent on doctors and drugs, recreational or curative.
 
If you want to maximize your short life span you have to act now. Sit down with yourself this weekend and identify the areas where you can improve your health. These can be deficiencies, addictions, nutritional imbalance, sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercises. Once you are aware of your exact situation, design a plan to improve your lifestyle.

health plan

Here are 4 reasons to start designing your health plan this weekend:
 
  1. Every second wasted adds to your unhealthiness – Till the time you don’t commit to a goal you will not make the desired effort to do it. You will keep allowing yourself to indulge in unhealthy activities till you don’t identify your problemsOnce you work towards designing your health plan, you will naturally start being more mindful of what you eat and how much you move( or don’t).

health plan

2. If you delay today you will never do it- Procrastination is the reason why thousands of people take their ideas to the grave. Execution is the difference between dreams and accomplishments. Take out 15 minutes today to identify your health issues and designing a plan to rectify them. This will be an informal commitment and from tomorrow onward you will have no option but to follow through on your promise. But if you postpone it today as well, you will fuel the procrastinating part of your brain to keep finding reasons to delay.
 
3. The weekdays are overbooked– Only the weekends offer you a flexible schedule. Otherwise most of the world is a victim of a fixed schedule lifestyle where you are not the master of your own time, someone else is. Use your free time to find more free time on the weekdays and design your health plan accordingly.
 
4. The WEEKEND defines your lifestyle – Either you work under pressure for 5 days and indulge in activities to forget your miseries on two days. Or you live a balanced life for all 7 days. The weekend is your opportunity to redefine your lifestyle. It is not about a diet plan or an exercise at the end. Your health plan has to realign your lifestyle. The best way of doing that is on a weekend when you are most vulnerable to give in to the temptation of rewarding yourself for suffering for 5 days of work.

health plan

Imagine a situation where you have worked hard for years and amassed enough riches to live a comfortable life. But at this point your body is unable to enjoy like it was all those years back. On top of it you have huge medical expenses and diseases which make death appear better than life.
 
Grotesque as it may appear this is your reality after 20-25 years. Learn the lessons now and invest your time on creating a health plan this weekend. Otherwise wait for a consequence to awaken your senses towards its importance.  The choice is yours.

Top 5 tips for a beginners calisthenic workout program

Everything in the universe has rhythm, everything dances. Your body is no different. It has its own graceful way of flowing across the visual spectrum, in perfect sync with its surroundings. Calisthenics utilizes this grace of movement to achieve bodily fitness. I thought it would be helpful for sharing 5 tips for a beginners calisthenic workout program, so that it would be easier for people to practice this connatural way of staying healthy.

What is Calisthenics?

This beautiful form of exercise, in which you use nothing other than your own body weight, originated in ancient Greece. Its rhythmic nature and aesthetic grace make it more of an art form than exercise.  The creative possibilities of this form of training is endless.

How to practice it?

A beginners calisthenic workout comprises basic body weight exercises like planks, push ups and pull ups. As your body gets more accustomed to the basic movements, you use your creativity to generate more resistance by rearranging your center of gravity and  finding variations.

beginners calisthenics workout program

Top 5 tips for a beginners calisthenic workout program

After practicing it for over 3 years now, I still believe I am far from being a calisthenic expert. Just like life, the learning process with this unconventional exercise  form is endless.  Nonetheless the experience over these years has helped me gather a few insights which will be helpful to anyone wanting to partake in a beginners calisthenic workout.

Here are 5 tips for a beginners calisthenic workout program:

  1. Its all about the CORE – Core stability forms the basis of most body weight workouts. So one must ensure a strong set of abdominal and gluteal muscles.  This can only be accomplished by using many static hold exercises like the plank, v-ups, plie holds etc.
    beginners calisthenics workout program
  2. Static to Dynamic– To ensure proper muscle development, beginners must always move from static exercises to dyanmic ones. Before you get into variations which involve a lot of movement you must always engage in static exercises (as mentioned above). This will help you identify and engage all the muscles associated with that specific movement.
  3. Push and Pull – If you really want to pursue calisthenics be ready to do push ups and pull ups without counting. These are the most common body weight exercises. If these are mastered then they form the basis of more creative movements. Try to reach a level of natural ease with push ups and pulls up before going in for something more complicated.
  4. The Medrano Effect– Out of the thousands of things you watch online everyday, spend 15 mins noticing the movements of experts in the field of calisthencis. Not with intention of aping them blindly(it wouldn’t be possible, they have been practicing this discipline for too long), but understand the harmony and rhythm of movement. Frank Medrano is to calisthenics was Muhammad Ali was to Boxing or Sachin Tendulkar was to Cricket, Do check him out.
  5. Power lies in Patience– Don’t be afraid to fall a hundred times over, don’t be disheartened if the movements that you envisioned yourself doing, don’t happen too soon. The most important tip for a beginners calisthenic workout plan is patience. Your resolve will surely be tested, but your patience will not go unrewarded. PicsArt_01-09-03.10.32With the game plan set its time you take the plunge into this beautiful discipline wholeheartedly. The benefits of calisthenics are plentiful. These include:
  • No equipment required
  • Can be performed anywhere at anytime(even at home)
  • Full body workout
  • More scope for creativity and fun than dumbbells
  • Its functional nature helps develop relevant muscles in perfect proportion
  • Its rhythmic nature brings harmony to the mind

With so many benefits I think everyone must make calisthenics a part of their workout routines. Hope you can use and share these 5 tips for a beginners calisthenic workout program in your circle of healthy friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vada Pavs and Fitness Trainers

Fitness Trainers in India come in all shapes and sizes. At times the roundness of their belly is rounder than the client they train for weight loss,  some have biceps and triceps bigger than the rest of the gym combined, some earn more from selling protein than personal training, and almost all are willing to work with you without the knowledge of the gym.

This desperation leads to their downfall, yet given the circumstances it is unavoidable. Given the plight of the fitness training profession, it is imperative for a fitness trainer to use all tricks in his book to keep the bank account rolling.

 The Plight of Fitness Trainers

Fitness trainers should be treated in the same line as preventive or rehabilitative doctors,  but when you pay them lesser than a security guard, you’re surely not going to get much out of them. With salaries that would put a vada pav vendor to shame, fitness training brings with it shame that repels most educated and skillful people from entering into this profession.

With such a low sense of respect and negligible basic pay rates, a fitness trainer is forced to burden himself with clients in order to earn in volume the salary he doesn’t get. And as the competition increases the salary and consequently the quality of service further reduces. This leads to the fat belly, as trainers barely get time or money for their own health. And as the old saying goes “You cant give what you dont have”.

When you start losing your own fitness, is the first sign of when the job turns from passion to a more mechanical way of earning money. As the urge to earn a living overtakes the urge to spread good health, trainers offer generic plans to both teenagers and those addressing postnatal issues. This is the reason we see trainers tending to several clients at the same time without doing justice to any.

Vada Pavs and Fitness Training

It is futile to expect a trainer who is on a staple diet of vada pavs (due to his economic condition) to help you with your lifestyle. As a result most fitness trainers are nothing more than ears for you to vent out your daily frustration. The money you pay them is more for being patient listeners than training.

On the other extreme the lack of knowledge creates a big divide, lack of knowledge creates lots of ego. Some fitness trainers are intoxicated by ancient methods of fitness and training. These fitness trainers get you results by putting you through overtly excruciating rituals and deficiency causing diets, but the price you pay for it in the long run is too high for the short term barter.

This is the reason most people who lose weight fast gain it back faster, and those who train extra heavy weights get joint troubles after a certain age. Fitness training is more about ensuring permanent wellness for your client, sabotaging this for short term gains and an extra buck is way too much bad karma.

Some Top Trainer Traits 

Most fitness trainers aren’t qualified enough to take up the task of realigning your lifestyle and telling you the bitter truth. The ones who are want to stay ahead of the curb and not empower you so much so that you become independent.

A genuine fitness trainer has many qualities but here are some essential ones.

Talks the talk and walks the walk– Always be humble and notice the positives in the people around you. Faults are easier to find, but eliciting them hardly makes any difference. Working on the strengths increases your level of understanding and then you can focus on gradually diminishing the faults. Along with this the body language and the physical conditioning of the fitness trainer should be enough to inspire trainees.

Different strokes for different folks– No two workout or diet charts can be similar. You have to customize as per the specific habit of your client.

Its not all about the Money, Money, Money– Desperation is the downfall. When the fitness trainers are too desperate for money it robs them of their creativity and prevents them from doing justice to their clients. Be worthy of your role in someones life and you will get all the money you deserve.

Find your why– If you know why you are into your profession you will manage to progress any how. Yes the financial rewards for taking short cuts appear more beneficial but greed is detrimental to sustaining your efforts.

Prescribe exercise plans and design meal plans– Instead of merely using a generic plan, test your client and prescribe a specific fitness plan, similarly gauge your clients likes and dislikes before designing their food plan. Clients is more likely to stick to his regime and diet when  they enjoy it. So make entertaining exercises and workouts and a nutritional plan which becomes a part of the lifestyle rather than a short term diet.

Educate and empower– As a fitness trainer your mission should be educate and empower your client rather than making them dependent on you. Once you focus on making them independent your ingenuity shines through, clients usually respect that and are ore likely to renew their plan with you.

No end to learning– You will need less strategies and schemes if you have more knowledge. Keep updating your knowledge through quality learning. Everything available on the Internet is knowledge and you should understand how to filter the good from the bad.

Forces of Good Courses– Courses from ACSM ( Aerican College of Sports Medicine) give you the necessary arsenal of knowledge and good connections to help you further your fitness careers.

I will further use this section to assist fitness trainers all around and people seeking fitness trainers to gauge and choose the best ones. I will make the information like the vada pav, easily available and cheap, but with added health benefits.