Productivity
yoga

Why Having a Good Morning Routine is Important for Selfcare

In our busy day-to-day lives, we often forget the importance of self-care. Caring for ourself is very important to keep functioning to the fullest of our abilities. One of the first things you should do when starting on a self-care journey is to work to have a good morning routine. Because when you weave self-care into your daily routine, it becomes difficult to skip. It becomes part of your habit and is something that you do on autopilot.

What many people starting on the self-care journey do is that they set aside a day once in a while to focus on themselves. While this can be a great way to take a break, it isn’t as beneficial in the long run. Mornings are the most important time according to me. What you do in the morning has the power to set the tone for the day.

It is important to use your waking hours wisely. Everything in the morning is much more relaxed from the peaceful nature to the blissful weather. Your mind and body are at peace too. You are yet to completely be absorbed in the day’s worries. This is the perfect time to indulge in some self-care.

Establish small habits that help you focus on your well-being every day. Meditating in the morning, doing yoga, drinking warm lemon water, writing in your gratitude journal are some of the things you can easily incorporate in your daily lifestyle.

This helps you start your day on a positive note without having to do something extra for the positive mindset. With a busy lifestyle, taking care of oneself seems like a luxury so when you do little things like these, you feel like you are on the right track. You feel content with your work-life balance.

For me, my morning routine consists of:

  • Waking up at 4 AM
  • Washing my face and brushing my teeth
  • Having a glass of warm water – usually lemon and honey and sometimes green tea.
  • Meditating for 20 minutes 
  • Yoga, breathing exercises, stretching
  • Reading for 30 minutes to an hour (depending on the day ahead)
  • Listening to a motivational video or podcast
  • Have a healthy breakfast

Exercising in the morning is also a great way to show your body that you care. You might be tired during the day and after you come back home you wouldn’t want to do something physical anyway. Getting some sort of exercise in the morning is best to help you achieve your health goals as well. It makes your mind and body both feel fresh.

Do not skip breakfasts either because breakfast is one of the most important meals. It gives your body enough energy to keep working for the whole day. It keeps you filled so that you are not tempted to eat junk food or unhealthy takeaways. If you do not have a lot of time during the week, you can always meal prep or batch cook during your weekends so that you will have something healthy and homemade for all your meals especially your breakfast.

This routine is something that I follow religiously to keep me functioning throughout the day with a positive mindset. When you give yourself enough time to regroup daily, you carry that attitude with you throughout the day making it pleasant for other people to be around you and also for you to give more to your work.

Skin Care
Squats

3 Benefits of Forest Therapy

Forest therapy is one of the easiest lifestyle change you can make in your life. Now, you might be thinking about what forest therapy actually is? Forest Therapy is said to support healing and wellness. This theory works with the idea of immersion in forests and other natural environments. The inspiration for Forest Therapy comes from the Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku, which translates to “forest bathing.”

Forest therapy is nothing but walking in a forested area with no destination in mind or no intention to do anything. You can say that it is just mindless wandering.

It is said to offer a wide range of benefits ranging from reduced blood pressure to boosting your creativity. Although it has a lot more like helping children with ADHD focus better and helping recovering patients recover faster, we are going to be discussing a few basic ones that most of us can relate to and benefit from. Let’s talk about some of the benefits.

1. Boost Your Creativity

Creativity and nature go hand in hand. People who feel a creative rut will often tell you how being out and about in nature helps them get their rhythm back. Nature is the biggest inspiration when it comes to art and creativity.

If you think about it, taking a walk is often said to relieve our mind of the thought-jumble that has been stressing you out. So, forest therapy is the therapy that you won’t mind attending and it is free. Plus, walks reduce your stress levels. A stress-free mind will help you regain your creative self.

2. Decrease Your Blood Pressure

People with a blood pressure problem are often told to go on walks. Forest therapy says that just looking at trees for a few moments has a positive effect on a person’s health, this helps them calm down and lower blood pressure.

This might be supported by the fact that two stress-related hormones – adrenaline, and cortisol, are observed to reduce from it.

3. Boost Your Immune System

Nature has a remedy for everything. You can find solutions to a lot of things in nature. Plants emit a chemical called phytoncides. This chemical has antifungal and antibacterial properties which work as protection from insects.

When you keep spending time in a forested area, walking through plants that emit phytoncides, you are bound to inhale them. Your body will then start producing white blood cells called the Natural killer (NK) cells that have the ability to kill viruses and cancer infected cells in your body.

Final Thoughts

While walking in itself has a lot of benefits, taking your walks in nature can have the greatest. Many studies have shown that trips to forested areas and spending time in nature help minimize a person’s state of confusion, depression, and anxiety. It is a healing method for mind, body, and soul. If you live near a forested area, take benefit of it. If you live in a city, the best you can do is visit parks. Just remember to spend some time in nature.

Fitness
Walking

Advantages of Taking a Walk After Meals

Many people have the habit of taking a walk after meals, it is actually suggested by many researchers to do so. Studies have found that going for a short walk of 10-15 minutes post meals benefits your digestion process and also helps in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.

If you overeat then it sort of becomes a necessity – you will notice how it quickly makes you feel better than just sitting in one spot. The easier theory that people can tell you is that because you are doing something physical so you are using up the energy. But, the food that you have just eaten hasn’t been digested yet so that isn’t exactly the reason.

Walking post meals increases the rate at which food particles move through the stomach, hence, helping with better digestion. That being said, you shouldn’t go on a walk immediately after you eat. Wait for about twenty minutes before you set out for your walk. Walking immediately can cause indigestion and acid reflux.

In most cases, even with big meals, 10-15 minutes of light walking should be sufficient. Many people go for walks after dinner majorly. They will head out, take a walk in the garden or around their block – walks after dinner is a common practice. It is a good practice because it helps you fall asleep faster and deeper.

If you are trying to lose weight, then this is another helpful little change that you can bring to your lifestyle. After eating, your blood sugar rises and falls, walking post-meal helps lower your blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, then it is a great workout to incorporate in your routine without doing much.

If you are going in a group, try to keep conversations to a minimum. Better still, don’t talk at all for the short walk. At least for the few minutes, you spend for the walk, remain silent and learn to savor the silence especially after a heavy meal. If you have had a heavy meal, then you are straining yourself already, talking while walking needs more efforts and can induce the feeling of puking with more air you take through your mouth when talking. So, after you’re done with the walk, you can consider talking to the other members of the group who accompany you to your walk.

It is also a good way to spend a few minutes with your partner or children before you go to bed. After the walk, you can choose to sit down for a few minutes and talk about your day and your plans for the next day.

If you find a location to sit for a few minutes, say you go to the garden, then go for it. Close your eyes and meditate with deep breaths – meditation is another technique to help you relax and get better sleep.

Final Thoughts

This practice is something that doesn’t take much of your time but has great benefits. If you can’t go out for a walk, then you can climb stairs, pace in your balcony, and even your room. Although outside is the best, but if you find indoor more convenient then go for it.

5 Snack Ingredients that Make Weight Loss Food Tasty

With my journey of trying to stay healthy and lose some weight around my tummy, I am always on the lookout to include healthy stuff that won’t make me cry every time I think of eating my diet food. This means looking for things that are tasty and yet healthy. Trust me, I have a hard time imagining anything tasty to be healthy.

Here are 5 of my favorite additions to my diet that makes me happy to be eating healthy without making my tastebuds suffer.

1. Papaya

Papaya is one of my favorite fruits and makes for a great fruit salad and juice option. Papaya is a rich source of Vitamin A, magnesium and Vitamin C. It is low in calories and rich in fibers. It also helps in better digestion. It is recommended to eat papaya in the morning on an empty stomach. It helps with menstruation too.

2. Avocado

Avocados are a favorite for many. Avocados are loaded with healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and are very low in saturated fats. This is what makes avocado one of the best foods for weight loss. Guess who is having a healthy serving of guac and frequent avacado toasts? Me!

3. Almonds

Almonds are a rich source of  Vitamin E, calcium and potassium. Like avocados, they also are high in healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. These fats are very filling and take longer to digest. As a result, your body uses them whenever you are hungry and you eat less. It helps curb your hunger and is a delicious snacking option that keeps you feeling full.

4. Dark Chocolate

One thing that I was heartbroken over was giving up chocolate but considering I have always prefered dark chocolate, I wasn’t feeling too shattered. Hush-hush, my poor heart! Dark chocolate is considered the healthiest of all the chocolates – lucky me! Moderate consumption of dark chocolate aids weight loss by reducing appetite and food cravings. It is recommended to have a piece 20 minutes before your meal to help with not overeating.

5. Green Coffee Beans

I had to add something to drink, didn’t I? I am starting to believe that everything with a prefix of green, when it comes to food, is healthy. Don’t worry, it does contain a small amount of caffeine which helps boost the metabolism by a significant amount.

The high amount of chemical chlorogenic acid present in green coffee leads to weight loss which is why the green coffee extract has been used as a weight-loss supplement.

Final Thoughts

Always try to look for healthier alternatives of food you love, rather than giving up on it completely. It will help you not hate your diet much and will also help you fall in love with healthier options. It won’t be long before you stop missing your favorite treats. Dieting and eating healthy isn’t supposed to make you sad, do it right and take small steps. Alternatives before cutting things off is a great option to getting used to a healthy lifestyle.

Health
Travel health

YOU are responsible for YOUR health

Being healthy, achieving your body goals, working on yourself – everything is just one person’s responsibility, and that person is YOU. You can watch a ton of videos on exercise, you can read a lot of material on the benefits of yoga, you can listen to every podcast on eating right, but if you are not applying any of that in your daily life then it is meaningless.

“Doctors won’t make you healthy. Nutritionists won’t make you slim. Teachers won’t make you smart. Gurus won’t make you calm. Mentors won’t make you rich. Trainers won’t make you fit. Ultimately, you have to take responsibility. Save yourself.” -Naval Ravikant

Inaction leads you nowhere, your health is no different. Unless you make lifestyle changes, you aren’t going to see long-lasting positive changes in your health. The changes you make don’t have to be big, every small step counts. It can be waking up early, or drinking more water, or doing 15 minutes of yoga in the morning.

As long as you are bringing in positive lifestyle changes, you will see results. You can join a gym, you can take classes, you can have a dietician, you can visit different experts but you give up on everything in a few days or as soon as you step out of the establishment, it is as good as doing nothing.

You can’t keep up your junk food and processed food eating habits and then wonder why you aren’t losing weight even though you have started running every day. A balance of everything is essential. Having a proper, well-balanced diet is a solution to a lot of problems. Start by what you intake – decrease the amount of unhealthy junk you put in your body, start counting calories and including things that your body lacks.

While protein shakes and juices are great, don’t forget that our body is still made of water. Don’t forget to drink water. If anything, start by increasing your water intake. Develop a habit of drinking more water than you currently are if you don’t drink enough. Try reducing your takeouts from 5 days a week to 3 days a week to 1 day a week. This way it won’t be a massive change to your routine, and you will slowly be cutting your unhealthy habit away.

Batch cooking works the best if you don’t have time to cook every day. You can take one day out to prepare meals for the rest of the week so that you will have something healthy readily available to you, and won’t have to rely on takeouts and fast food.

Final Thoughts

Being responsible for your health doesn’t mean that you have to spend big bucks on going to specialists and buying healthy stuff, taking membership to gyms or hiring a personal trainer. It doesn’t mean giving up everything you love. It means moderating the things you put in your body, it means listening to your body – giving it what it lacks and working on keeping it in the best shape possible. How well you take care of your body will be apparent from how much your body will work for you.

Health, How To
cooking

How Batch Cooking Can Help You Have a Healthy Diet

In today’s times, everyone is busy trying to achieve their dreams, run a business, manage a family, aim for something, etc. The start-up culture is on the rise. People are putting in as many hours in their work as possible has become a normal culture. Even 9-to-5ers put in extra hours just to get the promotion sooner or to get a hike in their salary. 

One thing that is suffering is the most is our health. Our eating habits are wild, with no proper schedule and no balanced diet. Fast food is easy and convenient for the rat race we all participate in. When you have no time to cook during the week, batch cooking is the best way to ensure that you have healthy food and always have something to eat. 

All you have to do is take some time out of your weekend to make sure you eat well for the week. Just imagine the amount of stress regarding the food you will forego and how much time and energy you will save overall.

People have started focusing solely on moving forward in their careers and will sacrifice anything for it. It is a good thing but not when it costs everything: your health, your life, your relationships.

Let’s focus on the health aspect today. Let’s say you work non stop- no time to eat or sleep. Your body gets tired, doesn’t get proper nutrition, falls sick, and then you stop working and spend all that you have earned in getting back in shape. Is it worth it?

I understand that you don’t have time to cook meals, so you resort to takeouts or packaged fried junk. Trust me, I have been there. What we don’t realize is that they might be quick fixes, but processed food, fried food, and everyday takeouts will take their toll on your body. One solution to that is batch cooking.

Batch cooking means preparing or cooking larger portions of a variety of dishes that can be mixed and matched to create different meals throughout the week or eaten as it is. Most people do it on Sundays to prepare for the week. Some people like to break it down and do this on Sundays and Wednesdays so that they can get more variety.

All you have to do each day is pull out the meal out of your refrigerator and heat it or maybe if it is something that you can just grab and go then more props to you. You will be thankful to your weekend self for taking a few hours out to save so many hours and headaches throughout the week, and your stomach will be thankful for not getting the onslaught of junk food and cheap takeaways.

Because you already know what you are going to eat, it will save even more time and stress during the week. You will be eating healthy home-cooked food and will also save money because you are not eating out anymore. It is a win-win situation.

Health
nut

Why Including Health Nutrition in School Curriculums Has Become a Necessity

Today’s time is full of people dreaming to have their own startups and be entrepreneurs. If not that, then they spend hours on a desk working for a better future. In the race of working toward what we consider a better future, we often forget that our body is what we will be living in in the future.

Money and career success isn’t the only thing that makes the future. Along with a high standard of living, a better YOU should be a priority as well. Someone who has a promising professional life and a great social circle usually will miss out on sleep. Never in the history of the human race have we used so little energy on a daily basis. 

Most of the population spends their entire time sitting down – in front of their laptop screen or office desks doing paperwork, and then when they get downtime, it is still spent in front of screens – watching movies and shows. Netflix and chill have become a universal norm. With the world moving so fast, a person hardly gets time to relax his body. 

This leads to many health problems. Obesity and diabetes rates have risen dramatically over the last decade because of this technological driven sedentary lifestyle and the lack of proper guidance while in school.

Why school you ask? We are taught most things in school – what’s important and what we should focus on. While the importance of having a good career is drilled into our minds, the importance of good health is seldom forgotten. 

People don’t even know what they are eating or what they should even be eating. Most of us are too reluctant to get our regular health checkups, and everybody is either too busy or too lazy to work out and stay fit. 

It is vital for everyone to have knowledge about their bodies, important hygienic exercises, and essential first-aid practices – this should be one of the basic training we get. If we teach our students about health and nutrition, maybe we’d all be a lot healthier, and our medical system would be less overwhelmed – we will dodge a lot of health problems we face today because of a lack of awareness.

It is necessary for students to realize their passions and to know the effective strategies of job hunting and interviewing, but it is also essential for them to realize the importance of nutrition and exercise. Success, happiness, and a feeling of contentment are hard to come by because we lack the proper tools as we enter adulthood. A host of potential issues arise because of this, such as poor social relationships, anger, frustration, and even depression.

Education cannot end when you receive your diplomas and shut your books. Education and learning are never-ending processes. Take control of your mistakes and keep improving yourself. If you weren’t taught something, take it upon yourself to learn it. At the end of the day, you are responsible for your own life, and that includes paying attention to and taking care of your body.

Fitness
fig

5 Healthy Snack Recipes With Fruits

I am always on the lookout for healthy snacks. Honestly, healthy snacks that are quick to make are the priority because ironically I like to laze around eating said healthy snacks than spend time making them. Fruits are classic healthy snack options. If you are extremely lazy then you can have them as they come.

If you are anything like me, and like to pretend to have taken efforts while searching for ways to do things with minimal efforts whatsoever, then adding a little something to the fruits will make you feel like you have your life together. Take the basic fruit salad and add spices, take fruit pieces and dip them in chocolate, turn the fruits into smoothies, add anything that makes it tastier.

Here are some of my all-time favorites that are easy to make, tasty, and filling.

1. Chocolate Covered Fruits

Chocolate Covered Strawberries have always been my absolute favorite snacks. Why not take that further with more fruits. Select your favorite fruits and either dice them or add them to skewers. Dip them half way through in the chocolate or go all out, depending on what you prefer. Pop them in the freezer and once frozen you have delicious snacks ready.

This does not require much work, but the results are yummy. Remember to use dark chocolate, we are trying to make healthy snacks and the bitterness of dark chocolate compliments well with the sweetness of most fruits.

2. Yogurt Dipped Strawberries

Like chocolate dipped strawberries, yogurt dipped ones are a simple and easy treat. They are simple to make and high in nutrition level. All you have to do is dip the strawberries in yogurt and freeze it and you are good to go. You can add honey drizzle if you like to cut the plainness of yogurt.

3. Spicy Fruit Salad

Give the classic fruit salad a little punchy taste by adding spices. Adding spices enhances it from being a sweet snack option to something more. Add in some lemon juice and some chili powder. A little sprinkle does the trick. Adding salt and pepper is the classic and most basic option, a pinch of cinnamon can kick it up a notch.

4. Kiwi and Mango Salsa

A fruit salsa is right up there in taste level with spicy fruit salad. Combine kiwi and mango with bell pepper, avocado, red onion, and cilantro. Add lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Stir everything and you are done. The preparation is the same as the spicy fruit salad, but with a slightly different result, Serve with chips or tortillas.

5. Mango and Avocado Salsa

This is the same as Kiwi and Mango Salsa, but I wanted to give it a special mention along with the earlier one. The preparation is the same. If you add Kiwi you get the earlier one but this is preferred by many of my friends and I prefer the earlier mentioned one. So, here are both the options for you.

Health
massage

5 Benefits of Hydrotherapy

Let’s begin with discussing what hydrotherapy is and what it involves. Hydrotherapy was formerly called hydropathy and also called water cure. It is a part of alternative medicine, occupational therapy, and physiotherapy. Hydrotherapy involves the usage of water to soothe pain and achieve therapeutic benefit.

Hydrotherapy treatments include doing exercises in a hot sauna, water exercise, ice packs, cold and hot water treatment, water massage, and much more. Many studies and researches have highlighted the benefits of water therapy – which is why a lot of people are adapting to it as a form of relief for their pains.

Here are a few of the benefits of hydrotherapy among others:

1. Soothes People with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Most people use it for their arthritis – rheumatoid arthritis patients benefit from this, especially when combined with sauna and water exercises. Why this works is that water therapy reduces joint inflammation by increasing blood circulation in the body. As a result, rheumatoid arthritis patients are made to undergo sea bath treatment to relax and decrease inflammation.

2. Lowers Blood Pressure

A hot sauna bath can result in lowering blood pressure – stemming from it – undergoing hydrotherapy treatment also comes with an added advantage of treating sore tissues, joints, and muscles in the body. Experts advise that the water temperature should not be more than 95 degrees – your love for hot water baths can actually help you.

3. Relieves Respiratory Problems

Patients suffering from respiratory diseases like asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, and extreme cold get relaxation through hydrotherapy treatments. Having a relaxing hot tub session boosts the blood circulation in the body, as we talked about earlier, and enhances the white blood cells count. The increased count of white blood cells in the body heals respiratory problems, providing relief to the patients.

4. Boosts Immune System

It’s not about only using the benefits of cold water or hot water – hydrotherapy treatments particularly refer to the application of hot and cold water for a long-term benefit to the human immune system. It is majorly involved in removing the toxins and strengthening the immune system and also heals the body tissues at a high rate while promoting the circulation of blood cells in the body.

5. Heals Muscle Injuries

Have you ever soaked your foot in warm water after a tiring day? If yes, then you know the relaxation your muscles feel. By decreasing muscle fatigue, hydrotherapy shows positive results in improving muscle strength. The healing of injured or stiff tissues is promoted by the increased blood circulation in the body and it also alleviates the joint pain. 

Final Thoughts

Although hydrotherapy or water therapy is an age-old method, it has recently been gaining more popularity. Hydrotherapy also has other benefits including better hair growth and glowing skin. There are different types of hydrotherapy that focus on different issues.

If you have been suffering from any kind of muscle or joint pain, trying out hydrotherapy is likely to prove beneficial. Other than that, you can always consult with your doctor regarding any kind of problems you have and how you can get relief from them.

Fitness
kickboxer

Fitness Benefits of Kickboxing

Kickboxing is one of the most core engaging forms of exercise. Nor only does it give your body good exercise, it is also a great tool when it comes to self-defence. Talk about something tackling more than one of our needs. Kickboxing is a practice that I have always advised people to take up, and even my basic daily exercising has some elements of it incorporated in the routine.

A high-energy kickboxing workout can get all the parts of your body well trained. My kickboxing workout regime is similar to most routines that include kickboxing. The focus is on combining martial arts techniques with great heart-pumping cardio. Which is why it is also very beneficial for people wanting to shed some pounds. Mostly the core kickboxing workout routine is suggested once per week, but I have learnt to enjoy a tiny amount of it incorporated in my daily routine as well.

Kickboxing is also said to reduce stress and boost confidence levels. You release endorphins and that helps boost your mood and also helps you feel more confident. Which is why after a good kickboxing workout, you feel happy and positive. Because you are punching and kicking, it is a great way to release stress, not only mental but also physical.

It is seen as a bit of a aggressive release, but I might have imagined the punching bag as my problems and worked away at it at more than one occasions. The kicking and punching help you engage several of your core muscle groups that help your body get a complete workout, hence also loosening up your body of stress.

You know that it is a high-energy cardio routine, which is why you will see a rise in your energy levels as time progresses. You will be breathing hard during your workout, and also sweating out toxins – all this not only helps elevate mood but also helps your body energize.

The movements in the exercise are all in quick successions, which helps you better your reflexes and coordination skills. It also helps you focus more because you have to pay attention as to what your next move is going to be. It can be better if you practice it with someone. With reflexes and coordination, it also helps you improve your posture.

Most of our jobs include typing away at computers, being at a desk – not being much active in general. Your muscles start tightening up and your posture becomes poor. Because kickboxing engages a lot of your muscle groups, it helps you improve your posture.

It is also great for weight loss. Your core muscles are targeted, that means your waist and abs get a total workout because you need to develop more balance in your body. This helps shed fat around your middle, which is a problem area for many. It is said that one hour of kickboxing can help you burn around 800 calories.

Kickboxing is a great exercise regime to follow to get your body in shape, increase your core strength, and reach your fitness goals.