Health
Bicycle

5 Reasons to Start Cycling for a Better Health

We all take up various forms of exercises in order to get ourselves to our body goals but end up giving up soon. Cycling is an activity that is not only good for your health but is also an enjoyable thing. It causes less strain on you and less injuries than other forms of exercises and is also a good muscle workout as you engage a lot of muscles making it work.

Cycling is easy to learn, you can start with support wheels and you will get the hang of it soon. Once you learn it, you are not going to forget it. It is more like a muscle memory. Cycling primarily increases stamina and is a fun way to workout for people who like to combine outdoor and exercising. You can join cycling groups and go on rides. It will be a fun hangout opportunity while also getting the needed workout. Also, it is an environment-friendly transport option if you choose to use it to run your daily errands. Here are some health reasons to start cycling.

1. Weight loss

Cycling is a good exercise option for people thinking of losing weight and gaining lean muscle. It raises your metabolic rate and burns body fat while building muscle. Cycling is something that you can do according to your time and availability. It is a form of transport too so you don’t even have to take time out to do it.

2. Heart issues

Cycling is known to strengthen heart muscles and lower resting pulse, it also reduces blood fat level. This means that regular cycling will improve your heart. It is also good for reducing the risks of cardiovascular diseases like stroke, high blood pressure, and heart attack.

3. Better stamina

Like I already mentioned, cycling is great to develop stamina. If you have always been a couch potato like I used to be, then when you start any kind of exercise you will see how soon you get tired. This is because you have little to no stamina. Building your stamina is really important to being physically fit.

4. Improves mental health

Cycling is said to help with anxiety and depression because of the exercise it gives you and also the enjoyment the activity brings. Joining a local cycling group is a great way to be social without feeling the pressure of social sittings because most you will be doing is cycling with a bunch of people and visiting cool places.

5. It is easy on your wallet

Getting a cycle is a onetime investment. It is low maintenance and if you use it regularly then you are getting back more than you invested. It is better than getting a gym membership and having to pay monthly. A cycle is cost efficient.

Conclusion

Cycling ticks many boxes for people starting out with exercising. It is easy to learn and enjoyble. It can be done alone and in groups. It is cost efficient and can be done at your own convenience.

Health
unhealthy food

Reasons to Avoid Fast Food

The number one reason for people consuming fast food is right in its name. It’s food and you get it fast, simple right? With the busy lives that we live, getting anything quickly will always take precedence over almost everything. That is why instead of taking time out to grocery shop and then cut and prepare and then cook, more and more people are resorting to eating out.

Eating out gets expensive. The general public can’t afford to it thrice in good restaurants. So, fast food and takeouts remain the only option. While you get the sustenance very quick, it does more harm to your body in the long run. We all know that but we still eat it because we feel like it is the only viable option.

Most of the food sold for quick bites are high in calories, sodium, sugar, and fat. They taste good, yes. And that is rewarding in the short term but highly negative in the long term. You gain weight, none of it healthy and run a risk of getting diabetes and high cholesterol.

Not only that fast food is addictive. They are often compared to have addictive effects like drugs. The high levels of sugary, salty, and fatty substances make you crave the food more. You can try to fight it in the beginning but then you start giving in because what will one more burger do and that in turn gets you hooked to trying it out every day. This then becomes a bigger craving and turns into an addiction.

Like our physical health, our emotional and mental health is gravely affected by our eating habits. Eating food that is high with carbs is usually what happens when you eat things like pizza and fries. As a result, your mind isn’t receiving all the essential ingredients needed for proper brain functioning. This can lead to anxiety and depression.

Relying heavily on fast food means that your body along with your mind isn’t getting the essential nutrients that it needs to function. Essential fibres, fats, minerals are usually missing out from the fast food menu. You can face some serious vitamin deficiency. The fast-food menu isn’t designed to provide you with enough nutrients or a well-balanced diet so using it to supplement your diets will never go right. It is designed for you to have a quick snacking option.

Greasy and high-fat food is one of the main reason for digestive problems. If you have been having fast food back to back then you will know how hard it is on your system. Acid reflux, heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome are all something that people with a regular fast food diet face. Is it worth it is something that you need to ask yourself.

Not only do your bowels suffer, but your heart also takes a hit big time. At the moment your taste buds and stomach are going to be thankful. Shortly your stomach will be upset and then eventually your heart is the one that will take the brunt. These are just some effects but you need to evaluate regular fast food consumption and reduce it to the maximum in routine.

How To
yoga

How Can You Make Your Mornings Healthier

If you have ever noticed that your morning starts with a frenzy-snoozing your alarm, skipping breakfast, and rushing yourself out the door, then you have to think about your morning habits. If you start your day on a healthy note, there are great chances that it will benefit you for the rest of your day.

The tone of your morning will determine the tone of your day, so you have to plan accordingly.

1. Stop hitting the snooze button

I know this must be a little hard to get used to, but you should give up this habit. It’s a mental game, if you hear the alarm in the morning then don’t hit the snooze button. Train yourself to get your body out of the bed. Keeping your alarm clock at a little distance will allow you to move your body to stop it. Remember, it’s always hard to wake up early if you didn’t get enough restful sleep.

2. Stay away from your smartphone

If the first thing you do when you wake up is to check your smartphone for messages or work email, then you are doing something wrong. You are immediately cultivating a reactive mindset, instead of a proactive one, which will cause you to start your day in a defensive state, rather than a place of inner peace and control.

Instead, try remaining detached from technology for the first hour of your day so you can begin your day with a positive focus.

3. Hydrate

It’s always a great idea to go to bed with a glass of water. Also, drinking a glass of water in the morning after going hours without a sip is a good way to hydrate your body. It will be best if you add lemon to a warm glass of water which is a rich source of vitamin C, freshens your breath, and stimulates metabolism and digestion. Bottom line is this, you have to keep yourself hydrated before and after going to your bed.

4. Take a shower

Start your day with a shower. It wakes you up and energizes you like nothing else. It helps to stimulate the lymphatic system. It’s also an awesome way to focus your mental energy before your day begins, and it can help to promote creativity.

5. Exercise

Whether it’s simply a brisk walk, yoga, set of sit-ups and push-ups, or hitting to the gym, starting off your day with movement energizes the body and the mind. Find out what kind of exercise is best for you and schedule it. It doesn’t have to be complicated, long, or intense, but have some sort of physical activity. You can even switch up between the exercises you do every day to keep your routine interesting.

6. Eat a healthy breakfast

You have most likely heard that breakfast is the most important meal of your day. When your breakfast is healthy with proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains, you will have more energy throughout the day and a stronger ability to focus and concentrate.

Health
unhealthy food

5 Reasons Why People Eat Junk Food

With the fast-paced life, everyone is living, fast food has become more of a necessity than enjoyment. Here is why we tend to gravitate towards it.

1. It’s in the name ‘Fast Food’

With our lifestyle getting busier and faster it is not practical for a lot of people to cook food at home, be it healthy or not. With work hours touching 10 to 12 hours for most people they have to eat at least one meal outside, and with breaks being short, they need their food to be well ‘Fast.’ With this type of habit becoming acceptable now, children are quickly picking up on this trend; and as they say, the habits you make as a child are not easy to get rid off.

2. It’s all around you

One of the by-products of a busy lifestyle and corporate culture is businesses cashing on this opportunity to bring food right where you are and when you want. One of the signs that an area is attracting jobs and people is the emergence of restaurants, more often than not ‘Junk Food’ restaurants. You can only eat what is readily available to you. It is fast becoming a trend that major corporations have a food court with ‘McDonalds’ or some other popular fast food chain.

3. We choose ‘tastier’ over ‘healthier’

It’s a well-known anecdote that the healthier the food is, the more tasteless it is. When people decide to give up on junk food for getting back in shape or because their doctor said so, the most common reason they come back is that they start to believe that the fried junk food was tastier than the healthier food they have been eating recently. It’s really like smoking addiction, once you eat it for long, you are going to have cravings which are difficult to resist.

4. It’s cheaper than ‘Healthy Food’

Most people believe that if you are going to eat outside one meal a day, it’s probably not the best for the pocket to eat ‘fine dining’ every day. People choose to go for the cheaper option in food which is more often than not a fast food franchise or some junk food place they love. Although options like Subway which promise fast food but healthier are getting popular, junk food attracts much more people.

5. We don’t care about our health till it’s absolutely necessary to

Starting to eat junk food is an early habit when your body doesn’t require too much assistance. Eating excessive junk food becomes a problem only when you start realizing problems with your body like being overweight. When your doctor recommends to cut down on junk food, you are already an addict. One solution to this problem is never to become too reliant on junk food and try to eliminate bad habits in the early 20s when it’s easier to make or break habits. Temporary solutions usually lead to even more prominent long term problems, here the temporary solution is fast food and the long term problem is degraded health.

Health
Eggs

5 Healthy Egg Breakfast Options

When you are thinking of healthy breakfasts that are also quick to make and tasty to eat, eggs are one of those things that comes as your savior. Eggs go with a lot of things and are also a great breakfast option on their own. Anyone going on a healthy diet, trying to cut back on processed food and junk food should include it in their diet.

Whenever I am really tired, I have started cracking open some eggs and making omelets or scrambled eggs instead of ordering take out. It literally just takes minutes and also makes you feel like you have your life on track making the choice of cooking something. Easy recipes often involve more than two ingredients but eggs are something that can literally be made on their own with just some seasoning. Isn’t that perfect?

Here are some basic recipes and some classics. One of them can be used for batch cooking. Let’s face it, cooking every day can be hectic and sometimes not even possible. I have got you on that front. Remember these and you will always have something to eat. Let’s look at five easy egg breakfast options.

1. Omelet

Omelet is the easiest thing. There are many variations of course but this one is the easiest and my favorite. Crack open the eggs in a bowl, add some salt, black pepper, and a pinch of chili powder and beat the egg. Heat the pan, add some oil, and pour the egg. Cook it from both sides and you are done. If you are up to it, you can add some chopped onions and tomatoes along with green chilies in the egg mixture. If you add green chilies, don’t add red chili powder.

2. Scrambled egg

The preparation can be the same as making an omelet and then when you pour it in the pan, instead of letting it cook as a whole, scramble it while it is cooking. You can add different sauces for different recipes. My favorite includes a little bit of mayo and cheese added to the eggs while it is cooking.

3. Avocado Toast With Egg

Avocado toast with an egg is one of the easiest and basic breakfast recipes, This dish is loved by everyone and is also healthy. Take two lightly toasted slices of bread and top them with smashed avocado. Sprinkle the toasts with some salt and pepper. Layer sunny-side up eggs on the avocado (who doesn’t love sunny-side up) and you’ve your delicious breakfast ready.

4. Cheese-Spinach Baked Eggs

This is another one of the delicious breakfasts that you can make with egg. All you have to do is bake whole eggs with vegetables and cheese, easy, right?. You can cook a batch on the weekends and have them over the week, two birds with one stone.

5. Boiled eggs

Honestly, this isn’t revolutionary but when you have no time. You can put some eggs to boil while you are doing other chores around the house. Slice the boiled eggs after peeling of course. Sprinkle some black pepper, salt, red chili powder and you are good to go.

Fitness

5 Must-Have Fitness Wardrobe Staples

So you have recently started taking your workout seriously and want to build a proper fitness wardrobe but don’t know how. With many cute pieces floating around, it does get difficult to choose. But remember, the most important items are comfortable workout clothes. There is no point in looking cute when the clothes are uncomfortable, especially for a workout. Here are some of the must-haves to build your fitness wardrobe from the ground up.

1. Sports bra

A good sports bra is essential. If your sports bra is uncomfortable, chafes, digs in or provides insufficient support, then your workout can be an uncomfortable experience. Knowing your size is important to choose a sports bra that is comfortable for you. After that obviously, you can play with the look and color.

2. Tank top/fitness tee

A lightweight tank top is the way to go. Not everyone is comfortable in a sports bra, and even if you are, having a reliable tank top or tee is a great option. Working up a sweat becomes more comfortable in a breathable material. Moisture wicking is another one of the characteristics that people pay attention to. If you are into high intensity-training or high-impact workouts, then mesh panels are great for ventilation and will help you cool down quickly after a heavy workout.

3. Leggings/shorts

Breathable and comfortable leggings or shorts are a must for a great workout. If you are getting into intense workouts, then they are perfect because they allow plenty of ventilation. Breathable leggings move with you no matter what exercise you are doing. Mostly go for leggings if you are going to do yoga or handstands or exercises that will require your legs to be up in the air, shorts tend to ride up and become a hindrance.

4. Ankle socks

Socks are important to pay attention to because they need to complement your gym shoes, and I don’t mean style wise but functionality wise. What you should go for are lightweight running socks, they will keep your feet comfortable throughout the workout. Low-cut socks with breathable fabric, arch support, and moisture-wicking characteristic are the way to go.

5. Shoes

Shoes are one of the most important parts of your fitness wardrobe. They are going to carry your weight throughout all kinds of regimes you follow- walking, running, training, cross-fit, anything. Do not shy away from investing in good quality shoes. Cross-training shoes will work well for all your gym-ing plans, but you are planning on hitting the tracks then you might want to invest in proper running shoes. Running shoes focus on support, shock absorption, and traction and cross-fit shoes focus on comfort, and all your gym related needs.

While these are the basic wardrobe essentials that you need, there are also a few accessories that you should add in your list to make your life easier. Having a water bottle of your own is more of a necessity than want. Make sure that you own one. Other than that a duffle bag, headphones, fitness bands are all optional. It wouldn’t matter much if you don’t have them.

Fitness
Swimming benefits

5 Swimming Exercises For Beginners

If you are thinking of taking on swimming as a part of your weight-loss journey, then it is a good decision. Swimming can be used as a great form of exercise to stay fit, increase stamina, and also muscle strength. It is also gentle on the body when you begin. Like machines, it doesn’t jar your bones or damage your joints, yet is effective in keeping you fit and also helping your weight loss goal.

Swimming is said to be an easy form of exercise, which is why many people doubt it to be qualified as a weight loss exercise. But depending on your workout regime and the way you structure your swim exercises, it can be very challenging. Because the water serves as a form of resistance, it helps tone and strengthens your muscles. Swimming also improves your cardiovascular fitness and flexibility.

Make sure that you have proper gear when beginning out to help you get the best out of your workout. Having a workout partner helps too. It becomes more fun to do laps with someone with you. Listen to your body and also have a proper diet to go with your exercises. Remember when to eat and when not to before getting in the pool.

Swimcap, googles, kickboard, pull buoy, fins, and paddles are somethings to consider having if you want to seriously get into the sporting exercise.

Here are a few exercise structures you can follow to get yourself acquainted to the regime.

1. Go easy

If you are starting out, then this might help you get in the grove.

  • 1 x 100m slow swimming.

2. Swim kick swim

As a beginner, starting slow and using tool to help is a smart move. Use kickboards and pull buoy to help you tackle simple exercises before you go freestyle.

  • Swim one lap.
  • Kick one lap using a kickboard.
  • Swim one lap with a pull buoy between your legs.

You can repeat this set for 15-20 minutes. This helps you work both your upper and lower body.

3. Swim and walk

  • Swim the length of the pool.
  • Walk briskly through the water back to the starting point. If the water is too deep, you may need to wear an aqua jogger around your waist.

Repeat this exercise for 15-20 minutes for a proper workout session.

4. Swim and kick

This exercise is a full body workout with a focus on your cardiovascular goals.

  • Swim for 5 minutes, taking a break for 15-30 seconds at each end of the pool.
  • Kick for 5 minutes using a kickboard.

Repeat three times. You can increase it as you go, but three is more than enough. It helps you get in 15 minutes of a proper workout.

5. Hefty warm up

  • 2 x 50m swim freestyle (front crawl) with 30 seconds rest after each round.
  • 2 x 50m kick freestyle (hold a kickboard and use only your legs) with 30 seconds rest.
  • 2 x 50m pull freestyle (place a pull buoy between your legs and use only your arms) with 30 seconds rest.
Health
cup of green tea

5 Healthy Herbal Teas You Need to Try

Herbal teas have always been associated with health. People starting any sort of diet include it in their routine. People who aren’t on a diet yet want to lose weight start taking herbal tea or your everyday green tea. There are many other benefits of herbal teas. Here are five of my personal favorites. I will tell you my absolute favorite at the end of the article.

1. Peppermint tea

Peppermint tea is one of the commonly used herbal tea also because it is very refreshing. It is dais to support digestive tract health. It is also said to have antioxidants, anticancer, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. These properties haven’t been confirmed 100% but there are studies that show that peppermint has beneficial effects on the digestive tract and peppermint oil is effective at relaxing spasms in the intestines, esophagus, and colon and is also effective in relieving symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

Which is why it is suggested to drink peppermint tea when you experience digestive discomfort, nausea, stomach pain, or cramping.

2. Ginger tea

Ginger is the most commonly used spice in tea. It is said to be healthy and have antioxidants that fight diseases. It helps fight inflammation and nausea and also stimulates the immune system. It is also said to be helpful for period pains and is also good for people with diabetes.

Ginger tea is given to people who have a cold, headaches, or fever because it is supposed to have an instant relieving effect.

3. Sage tea

Sage has many medicinal properties and is also said to have cleansing properties. Sage is supposed to be beneficial with cognitive functions. It is also said to help against the plaque involved in Alzheimer’s disease. It also is said to improve mood, mental function, and memory in healthy adults.

Most people take sage tea because of its soothing effect that lifts the mood. It is known as a great refreshing tea after a tiresome day.

4. Lemon balm tea

Lemon balm tea is said to increase the body’s natural antioxidant enzymes. These enzymes help protect the body from oxidative damage to cells and DNA. Studies have shown for lemon balm tea to improve the elasticity of arteries, and the same study proved that it was good for the elasticity of the skin too.

The lemon balm tea has a light, lemony taste, which is also why people like drinking it.

5. Chamomile tea

Talking about herbal teas and not talking about Chamomile tea doesn’t make sense. Chamomile is one of the most popular teas. It is said to have calming effects. It is usually taken before bed because it is used as a sleeping aid. Drinking chamomile tea regularly has said to improve sleep and decrease depression symptoms. It is also said to relieve premenstrual symptoms and high sugar and insulin.

Chamomile tea is a popular option for everyday tea because of it helping get a good sleep and also for it being calming.

Conclusion:

Herbal teas come in a variety of flavor’s and all of them have different health benefits. Studies have started proving many of them to be true. You do not have to be a tea lover to try them. Just give them a try and see how they benefit you. My personal favorite is chamomile tea.

Health
Pregnancy

Prenatal Testing Timeline: All About Prenatal Testing

Prenatal care can vary greatly according to your location, budget, and doctor. Ultimately, your doctor will be the one to recommend any lifestyle changes and prenatal testing necessary to ensure that your baby’s health is always the highest priority.

Based on the results of prenatal tests throughout your pregnancy, your doctor may also order important treatments and make recommendations that could affect your child’s future. These tests are crucial for understanding the health and wellbeing of your child while in the womb and long after they enter the world. But, what kind of testing should you be prepared for? When should this testing occur?

Pregnancy Testing

Many women first discover they are pregnant from an at-home pregnancy test. These are usually purchased over the counter and easily performed according to the instructions printed on the box. After this initial test, you must go into your chosen OBGYN’s office for a blood test to confirm the at-home results. During this visit, a pregnancy will be identified, a schedule of additional visits will be laid out, and the next steps for prenatal care will be explained. Your doctor may also recommend other preliminary tests like a pap smear, or STI testing at this point.

First Ultrasound

In the first few weeks after receiving confirmation that you are pregnant, you will be scheduled for an ultrasound to confirm that the pregnancy is normal, that the baby is developing, the baby’s due date, and that your uterus and other organs are well-equipped to handle the stress of pregnancy.

Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing

As early as nine weeks into the pregnancy, your doctor might recommend non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) if:

  • Your pregnancy is determined to be high risk
  • You are over the age of 35
  • You have a genetic disorder that runs in your family
  • You’ve had a high-risk pregnancy in the past
  • You have a medical condition that could affect the pregnancy
  • Or you have a history of miscarriage or stillbirth

NIPT consists of a blood test that identifies the likelihood that your child will have a chromosomal or genetic abnormality. It does this without risk to the developing fetus, however, if your baby is found to be at risk for being born with a genetic abnormality, additional prenatal diagnostic testing will be recommended to you to confirm the NIPT results.

Prenatal Diagnostic Testing

Prenatal diagnostic testing is not recommended for every pregnancy because it carries a low risk of miscarriage. This type of testing is used to diagnose genetic disorders and is usually performed between 10-15 weeks of gestation.

The two most common types of prenatal diagnostic testing are amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling (CVS). Both types of testing involve using a needle to remove fetal DNA from either the placenta or amniotic fluid of the baby. Depending on the results of this test, your doctor may recommend additional testing to get a better idea of the baby’s health.

Additional Testing

Throughout the course of your pregnancy, your doctor will likely recommend additional kinds of prenatal testing as needed. These can include additional ultrasounds and blood tests to confirm that both mother and baby are healthy.

Your doctor should be able to answer any of your questions or concerns about prenatal testing and prenatal care. They may refer you to a specialist, or genetic counselor, if your baby is found to be at risk for being born with a genetic disorder. A genetic counselor will be able to better explain your testing options, what test results mean, and any next-steps or preparations that should be made for the health of your baby.

Health
yoga

Why You Should Consider Your Body Composition For a Healthy Lifestyle

Everyone wants to be fit and healthy. In the fast culture, we rely on fast foods too much. While they save time and make our lives easier at the moment, they have long-lasting adverse effects on our bodies. We do so many things to get to our ideal body goals. Having body goals and working towards them is all well and good, but most people don’t exactly know what their problem areas are.

When you know about your body, when you understand where your focus needs to be, you can make informed decisions. Only then can you take some proper steps towards getting your body healthy. Body composition is currently the next big thing in health and fitness and for a good reason too.

Knowing your body and its ideal weight is more than just knowing your BMI (Body Mass Index). There are many methods and devices, currently available, that are used to determine body composition. Having a clear idea of your body composition is the first serious step towards improving it. Your body composition test results can help you understand your weight and how much unhealthy fat you carry and help improve your overall health. You can also achieve your fitness goals with a technical and proper approach.

What exactly is body composition?

It is a method of describing what our bodies are made of, the proportion of fat and fat-free mass in your body. When you have a clear understanding of your body composition, it will help you to improve your health more efficiently. Like anything else, when you go about it correctly, it will change your life for the better. Weighing yourself on a scale or calculating your BMI (Body Mass Index) simply doesn’t cut it anymore because we do not have a way to differentiate between body fat, lean body mass, muscle, or body water.

There are many ways like the basic skinfold calipers, then there is hydrostatic weighing, then there is Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry aka DEXA, and also Bioelectric Impedance Analysis aka BIA. Some methods are quick and easy, but they will provide you just the basic information like the skinfold caliper and the hydrostatic weighing. If that’s all you need to know, then great. There are other methods that are lengthy and require the assistance of a trained technician to administer a test like DEXA and BIA. For obvious reasons, these methods are expensive, but they let you understand a lot more about your body in detail.

Take action

Only when you are obese and develop weight-related health issues is not when you should start caring about the fat in your body. Find out your body composition and make lifestyle changes to treat the problem areas. Some methods just tell you about the percentage of body fat you have, while others give you a detailed report on various areas of the concentration, use the information about yourself. Understanding your body composition makes sure that you feed your fitness goals with meaningful and accurate data and make changes that actually help.