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Holidays are taken for many personal reasons. Most families use it as a family time, some to visit friends and relatives in a foreign place and perhaps country. More common, holidays are taken for reasons of having a down time. Shopping, exploration, adventure, gastronomic indulgence comes in the package of being away at a foreign land.
Here is the catch. I am in the opinion that holidays, although it is a refreshing mind release from the everyday grind, can be quite strenuous onto the body. Have you never had the feeling that you’d wish you could take another day off after returning from one?
Holidays are stressful and if you manipulate it well, can aid in some weight loss. Here are a few pointer how you can do it with success.
Holiday tip 1 – The breakfast conundrum
Destination holidays come packaged with a wakeup call time in plan, and it’s usually at an unacceptable holiday like timing which is even worse than a normal working day. If a tour bus leaves at 8am, it means the FREE hotel breakfast needs to be ‘enjoyed’ and savored at 7am, which means the the wake up call will be at 6.30 or 7am. Lady folks need a 30minute minimum prep time. And then there is the issue of who uses the bathroom 1st.
Then there are the creatures of habit who turn instantaneously green in the face from a full breakfast and need to rush to the toilet after a full breakfast.
Here is the catch again. Breakfast may be free and there will be temptation to wallop everything available and still knick the odd apple and banana for later. Restrain yourself. A measure of control to consume minimal calories helps.
Holiday tip 2 – Plan an activity oriented holiday
I went to Pulau Perhentian once and even that holiday had an agenda. Swim, snorkel, dive, sunbathe, party, sleep repeat. For 3 days. That! Was tiring. Tour holidays are worse. Packed into a vehicle by nine and return to hotel in the evening. Some tours require lots of walking. Some tours are shopping centric; more walking.
The average person actually walks and is active up to 5 times more on holiday than on a daily work day. Equate that into calories consumption and it is a lot. It is no wonder that we tend to eat more on holidays.
Holiday tip 3 – Avoiding a gastronomic meltdown
There is a tendency to indulge more on holiday. After all, it’s a holiday. The food is always nicer and better in a foreign location. Its called a gastronomic adventure. At home and in our comfort zone, some measure of control can be administered to not over indulge. On holiday, that rule usually gets tossed out of the aircraft window.
I know it can be hard to control holiday over eating, but with a bit of self-control, it can be done. I personally control myself using these 3 simple rules:
- If it is not worth the calories, don’t eat
- If it does not look and taste remotely nice, skip it.
- If I’m almost full, stop eating.
Holiday tip 4 – Workout
On holiday, unless you opted for a no frills budget stay, most decent hotels do have a gym and swimming pool as part of the facility. If a pair of sneaker is too much luggage to handle, I’m sure swim wear can be managed. A 30 min swim is not only relaxing it can give you an extra appetite for around 300cals.
There is even a multitude of exercises that can be done in a hotel room. Google up body weight exercises and a whole slew of results will follow, both on cardio and strength training.
Have fun on holiday!
A special Rebel Program, 6 HOURS IN HELL will take place on the 11 May 2013. The program is about finding your own limits and pushing those boundaries. On BFM, Senior Sarge, Jason Moriarty, and KLS Rebel, Rajesh Gill, talk about the program and the relationship between fitness and mindset.
Click the link to find out what the fuss is about http://bfm.my/six-hours-in-hell.html
By Daniel Chandranayagam (originally published in the Sun newspaper)
“Mental strength before physical fitness,” Senior Sergeant Jason Moriarty of Rebel Boot Camp used to say to me (and all new recruits). For a few months, I never put much thought about that, but an awareness grew over time.
I noticed that people who gave up easily never got the fitness they sought, and left somewhat disappointed. Then, during the course of my career in fitness, I have witnessed the same, whether in boot camp, personal training or yoga. When the mind isn’t ready or strong, good things rarely are received.
Obviously, a strong mind is a positive mind. Someone who is negative from the get-go will be someone who is unlikely to see any results. “This sucks!”, “The ground is wet”, “We should have music”, “This is too hard”, “I can’t do this”, “You suck!”, “My hands will get dirty” etc. Is it surprising that success is out of reach?
Unsurprisingly, the negativity causes them to stop sessions. Some will blame the weather, their work, their children, their lack of time etc. But at the end of the day, it’s their negativity that stunts their development.
Our job as trainers is to motivate them, flip negativity to positivity, help them enjoy the sessions and all this will bring them closer to their goals. Executing this might be challenging but watching the mind shift and physical changes are part of the rewards of the job. Along the way, if they turn everything in their life to positivity, that’s even more rewarding.
On the other hand, those who come to sessions positive from the start usually achieve their fitness goals. Of course, everyone has his or her grumpy days, but watching them lose kilo after kilo usually comes with seeing them become more and more positive and vice-versa. Brighter people. Shinier Malaysians.
I decided to test this out on myself. I hate mathematics. But because of my work, I find myself having to deal with my old nemesis pi, radius and diameter. Good old trigonometry. I sat down in front of the computer, doing searches and trying to understand the formulae (yes, I am quite useless in math) but after five days, I managed to get everything tucked neatly into my brain. I was positive, open and receptive and pi came to me! I look at mathematics (and science) very differently now.
So on to mental strength. We all know what makes the difference between a good athlete and a great athlete is their mental strength. And this is the same in daily life. If one is positive and focused, at the very least, one would have learned or experienced something.
Yet, I know people who had huge dreams but never pursued them because “it’s not possible” or “I’m too old for that” or “what about the children” or “what about the mortgage” or “I’m too fat” or “I’m too thin” or “I like food”. Whether these dreams are career-related or health-related, the possibilities stop existing merely because it was nipped in the bud by none other than themselves. Sometimes, I wonder how many dreams, ambitions and lives are never realised because of this.
So positivity leads to mental strength, and mental strength leads to a host of goodness, including good health and physical fitness. It sounds trite, almost like a multi-level marketing cliché, but the thing is – it’s true.
On Thursdays, when I go for yoga classes myself, the class immediately after mine is a therapy class for those having suffered a stroke or who are living with Parkinson’s disease or other mobility conditions. When we are about to lie down for savasana (or yogic relaxation), we can hear them laughing and talking to each other. And during class, you can see they are focused on getting their leg to move or their hand to stop shaking.
When I watch these people, I sometimes find myself holding my breath. They are to me what positivity and mental strength is all about.
Daniel not only coaches @ Rebel but is also a yoga teacher. He leads the supercharged 1 Utama Central Park platoon.
.By Jonathan Tan (originally published in the Sun newspaper)
WHAT is good health? In a nutshell, good health is when all your bodily functions are working at 100% capacity, or thereabouts.
Since our body cells die every second, our body has a shelf life that comes in the form of a lifespan.
Some may be lucky to live long, healthy life while others may not. It’s tragic but that’s the reality of our body and mind’s wellness.
One of my favourite pitch lines used with a potential exerciser and client is this: “If your body has a lifespan of 70 years, in what form of health and fitness wellness condition would you want to be at, say for the last 20 years of your life?”
The truth is that everyone hopes for good health. But hope will get you nowhere if you consistently abuse your body with cigarettes, liquor or lack of sleep, and indulge in a sedentary lifestyle without exercise.
Even if you don’t smoke, drink or look a bit old for that matter, your body will eventually go through a cellular and molecular decline internally as well as externally.
Depending on how well a person takes care of himself, the inevitable will happen. We all grow old, become slower and eventually lose our abilities to function normally.
Exercise has always been championed by doctors and wellness care professionals to be the most effective, cheapest and natural way to prolong life and reduce the effects of ageing.
Exercise is also responsible for cellular regeneration and metabolism control.
It just seems too good to be true but countless research and studies consistently promote the endless benefits of exercise.
As we grow old, our bones become weak and brittle. The effects on women later in life become more significant with the eventual reduction of hormonal regulation on the onset of menopause.
Ingesting calcium by itself really does nothing to the bones. Yes, your bones do need calcium for re-growth, especially when they are broken.
However, calcification onto your skeletal structure happens when the bones are stress loaded through movement, work and exercise.
Only the skeletal sites that experience increased stress from exercise will become stronger from calcification.
In order for stronger bones to be effective, try high-impact, dynamic, multi-directional activities and weight training to effect better results for greater gains in bone strength.
One in every 10 persons today contract cancer eventually. This figure is exceptionally alarming, considering that medicine today has no cure for cancer which is caused by cells in the body that go bad and spreads.
What causes these bad cells to be in the body these days? Well, just to name a few – toxic water, toxic and chemically-induced foods, the environment, bad air and stress.
All these are variables that enter into our body causing the cells to eventually go bad.
How does exercise help reduce or prevent the occurrence of cancer?
Exercise aids in the regeneration of cellular structures and helps in producing good metabolism in the body. In short, bad cells have lesser opportunity to stay in the body.
Overall, it has been researched that those who exercised the most (five to six hours of brisk walking per week) were 24% less likely to develop the disease than those who exercised the least (less than 30 minutes per week).
The beneficial effect of exercise holds across all sorts of activities.
There is an ever-growing body of evidence that the behaviour choices we make affect our cancer risk.
Physical activity is at the top of the list of ways that you can reduce your risk of cancer.
Muscles, tendons and ligaments
These are the three synergistic components in the body that make you move stronger, better and faster.
As one grows older, muscles will shrink and be weaker, while the two connective tissues of tendons and ligaments will be less effective on movements’ demand.
The only way to maintain and make these in tip-top form is again through regular exercise.
Elderly people who become wheelchair bound or less mobile get to that stage when their bodies go through the degradation of muscles, ligaments and tendons which limits their ability to move.
So, do yourselves a favour today. Get up, do something for yourself to enjoy a better quality of life in your later years.
Let’s be fit.
Jonathan is one of Rebel’s most senior instructor, leading the vibrant
Many ladies might decide to stop exercising when they hear the good news of their new arrival. Wait! Don’t stop! Exercising while pregnant helps expecting mothers feel better during pregnancy. So long as the doctor says it is okay, it is recommended that they put in at least a half hour of exercise every day (American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists [ACOG]).
Benefits of exercising while pregnant
Improved symptoms – Unpleasant symptoms, such as bloating, headaches, backaches and poor sleep – experienced during pregnancy are reduced with exercise (Idea Fitness Health). In addition, exercising while pregnant helps expecting mothers avoid or treat gestational diabetes (March of Dimes).
Feeling good – Exercising releases endorphins, our happy hormones. As such, exercising helps even out our moods. Aside from making expecting mothers feel happy, they can expect to feel more in control of what is happening with your body (KidsHealth). Another plus point? Expecting mothers who exercise have a healthier pregnancy glow because of the increased blood flow to the skin.
Prepared for birth – Exercising during pregnancy will help expecting mothers with their delivery. Their muscles will be stronger and hearts fitter, making labour and delivery easier. In case labour becomes lengthy, increased endurance aquired through exercise will help. Moreover, greater fitness helps with any pain associated with labour and delivery (ACOG).
Postpartum Benefits – Exercising while pregnant helps mothers get back into shape after their babies are born. Exercising expecting mommies put on fewer pounds of fat during their pregnancy, and strength and tone in their bodies helps them get fit fast postpartum (March and Dimes).
Fitter baby – Times magazine states that women who stay active during pregnancy tend to have babies with lighter birth weights. Babies with lower birth weights are less likely to have diabetes than those who are born heavier.
Expecting mothers ought to always consult their doctors before exercising while pregnant. If they had their own exercise routine prior to their pregnancy, it is safe for them to continue so long as they have their doctors’ approval.
However, lighter weights and higher repetitions are advised (American Council on Exercise). Walking lunges are not recommended so as to protect the pelvis. In addition, after the first trimester, supine exercises are to be avoided as this might reduce blood flow and cause dizziness.
Finally, expecting mothers who exercise are advised to stop exercising and to contact their doctor immediately should they experience vaginal bleeding, dizziness or chest pain while exercising.
Yet inexplicable many of us gain weight during this month. I myself have to be careful, as the amazing foods that are not often available during the rest of the year are often to tempting.
In addition many use this month as an excuse to stop their exercising programme. Easy to realize why we gain weight when you do the math, increase food eating, decrease activity that burns the calories, don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure that one out.
Here I will give you some guidelines if followed will allow you to enjoy the holy month, without suffering during the day while fasting and keep up your exercise routine and stop your figure from expanding.
Your diet should not differ very much from your regular diet during Ramadhan. (I am assuming here that you already have a healthy diet which avoids fat, oil and sugar).
To help you through the day you should eat slow digesting foods with high unprocessed fiber contents. Slow digesting foods last up to 8 hours, and will see you though the day, While processed foods such as white rice, pasta etc. will fill you up quickly but will very quickly burn off leaving you hungry and tired.
Slow digesting foods with a low GI include whole grains, and seeds like barley, wheat, oats, millet, semolina, beans, lentils, unprocessed flour, unpolished rice etc.
- Keep your exercise sessions light. This is not the time to be setting any new records.
- Warm up thoroughly, most important to start slowly.
- Keep your diet moderate in high protein.
- Keep your diet high in complex carbohydrate which has a low glycolic index (GI) as a rough rule of thumb, these are unprocessed carbohydrates i.e. unpolished rice. For more information on the GI visit www.glycemicindex.com I feel this is the single most important part to successful fasting.
- When breaking fast, avoid simple sugars, (this means no Kuih and all its sugary friends), as they will cause your insulin levels to spike, resulting in making you feel extremely lethargic and unable to exercise. The fancy name for this is reactive hypoglycemia.
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR AND SOME REMEDIES
The temptation to over eat. This will not keep you from being hungry and will most likely result in an expanding waistline and a weight gain.
Too much tea or coffee at sunrise, as these are diuretic’s and result in you spending more time in the toilet wasting that precious water that your body needs to preserve.
Lots of water and fresh juice after breaking fast and before you sleep. This will allow your body to adjust your fluid levels while you sleep.
LOW BLOOD PRESSURE
If you have excessive sweating, weakness, tiredness, lack of energy, dizziness, or feeling faint you may be suffering low blood pressure. You tend to feel this towards the afternoon.
This can be a result of too little water or fluid intake and too little salt intake. To resolve this keep cool and increase your fluid and salt intake.
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
If you suffer from high blood pressure and are taking medication, you may need to adjust your levels during Ramadhan. You should discuss this with your doctor.
A common problem if you normally like to hang out at Starbucks or generally drink lots of coffee you can suffer from server headaches due to caffeine withdrawal. This also applies to smokers. These are bad headaches and can cause nausea. The best way to avoid these headaches is to slowly reduce your intake a couple of weeks before the start of fasting.
I wish you all the best for the fasting month and should you have any more questions regarding the best way to fast or exercise please log on to jasonmoriarty.blogspot.com and leave me a question.