Drink more Water


The more you exercise, the more important it is to drink the right amount of water before, during, & after your workouts.💪💦
People differ a lot in body size, how much they sweat, the type and amount of exercise they do, and the climate in which they exercise. So “one-glove-fits-all” rule cannot apply.
Dehydration can make it hard to get the most out of your workout, & in extreme situations, can even be dangerous to your health.
🚱Mild dehydration:
1⃣Be a little thirsty
2⃣Feel as if you have to work significantly harder to maintain your performance level
🚱🚱Severe dehydration:
1⃣Lightheadedness
2⃣Uncoordinated
3⃣Muscle cramps
4⃣Symptoms of heat exhaustion, & that can progress to heat stroke, which is potentially fatal & needs medical attention.
The good news👍 is that staying hydrated💦 during exercise really isn’t complicated for most people. If your typical exercise session is around 60 minutes or less, & doesn’t involve vigorous activity outdoors in hot, humid weather😓🚫, you probably don’t need to interrupt your exercise session for a drink unless you prefer to. A healthy, average-sized person can produce as much as 32 oz of sweat during an hour of moderate to vigorous indoor exercise. The goals of fluid intake during exercise is to prevent dehydration from occurring & to not drink in excess of one’s sweating rate.

Weight Loss- Are You Eating Right?



Our metabolism slows with age👶👧👩👵. The average woman packs on 18-plus kgs by her 50s🙊, if she doesn’t combat the roller coaster of hormones, muscle loss, & stress that conspires to slow her fat-burning engine. But midlife weight gain isn’t inevitable.😃
To boost over-40 weight loss, make sure your each meal is around 400 calories✅, the amount needed to fuel your body while keeping you satisfied, translating into effortless weight loss.💃
The Metabolism-boosting Food Rules🍴 to live by–
1⃣Eat just enough so you’re not hungry–a healthy snack🍎🍑🍌 midmorning and midafternoon between three meals will keep your metabolism humming.
2⃣Caffeine☕️ is a central nervous system stimulant, so your daily java jolts can rev your metabolism 5 to 8%.
3⃣Boost your fiber intake by switching to whole wheat bread🍞, pasta, & eating more fruits🍊 and vegetables🍆. Fiber can rev your fat burn by 30%.
4⃣Drink 6 cups of cold water a day to raise resting metabolism by about 50 calories daily–enough to shed 2.5kgs in a year.
5⃣Always choose organic👌 when buying fruits & vegetables; non-organic versions tend to have the highest levels of pesticides💥.
6⃣Make sure protein🍳🍠 is a component in every meal. Protein can up postmeal calorie burn by as much as 35%.
7⃣Iron-rich foods are essential for carrying the oxygen your muscles need to burn fat.
8⃣Vitamin D🌞 is essential for preserving metabolism-revving muscle tissue. Sources: tuna, shrimp, tofu, fortified milk and cereal, and eggs.
9⃣Skip the second cocktail🍸. When you have an alcoholic drink, you burn less fat, & more slowly than usual, because the alcohol is used as fuel instead.
1⃣0⃣Consuming calcium🍼 through dairy foods such as fat-free milk & low-fat yogurt may also reduce fat absorption from other foods.
Ignite your body’s fat-burning furnace with these healthy eating tips.✅👍👌

Is Walking Enough?


When I ask my patients or clients at Fitness Élixir do they exercise? I usually hear the answer,”We walk. That’s it.😊”
Activities like walking🚶, gardening🌷🌿, cleaning house🏡 are called as Exercise lite. Exercise lite has given many people a false sense that a stroll through the neighborhood is all you need to stay healthy. Instead of pushing people to be more active, it’s given them an excuse to do as little as possible.
🚶🚶🚶Does our kind of walking-
❌improve endurance?
❌reduce the risk of heart disease?
❌help in weight loss?
❌improve muscle strength?
NO⁉️ Then why do it❓
✅THE TRUTH? The more exercise you do, & the more vigorous it is, the more you benefit.👌
If walking is your choice of exercise, a brisk walk🏃🏃🏃🏃 is the way to walk. It’s how you’d walk if you were hurrying to catch a bus/train🚇 or to get in from the rain☔️. It’s walking fast enough so that you begin to feel winded.😅💦
If you’re a lounge lizard whose idea of exercise is picking up the remote control, then walking a little every day will make you healthier & increase your odds of living a long life. But don’t think you can shuffle along & call it exercise. Get walking the right way!👉🏃🏃

The Right Run- Your Action Plan


200498101-001Still hell-bent on racking up the miles? Remember there’s a fine line between pushing through and pushing your luck — and only you (and your doctor) will know what’s best when the running gets rough.

By taking a few precautions and planning, you can prevent many common running injuries. Here are some tips for preventing injuries.

To minimize the aches and pains, consider these general tips to help stay on the safe side:

  • Listen to your body: Don’t ignore pain. A little soreness is OK. But if you notice consistent pain in a muscle or joint that doesn’t get better with rest, see your health care provider.
  • Create a running plan: Before beginning a running routine, talk to a trainer. A trainer can help you create a running plan that is in line with your current fitness/abilities and long-term goals.
  • Stick to the 10 percent rule: Don’t increase mileage by more than 10 percent each week. Upping those miles unexpectedly is a major reason overuse injuries happen!
  • Warm up & cool down: Heading for an intense run? Remember to warm up and cool down to ease the body in and out of a workout. This will help keep injuries at bay.
  • Stretch: Many injuries occur as a result of inadequate stretching. Before and after you run, stretch your muscles thoroughly — especially your calf, hamstrings, groin, and quadriceps. Also, warm up for five minutes — by walking, for example — before you start stretching. Stretching cold muscles may cause injuries.
  • Fix your form: Smooth and efficient is the key. Not only will poor form hinder performance, it could lead to unnecessary pain. So make sure to use correct running technique to prevent injuries, especially shin splints and back aches. Imbalances in the body can also lead to problems down the road, and it never hurts to visit a skilled physical therapist who can help identify and address any biomechanical issues.
  • Strength train: Add weight training and ab exercises to your routine. This strengthens muscles and develops core strength. Lifting can increase structural fitness — which helps bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles endure all that pounding. Pay special attention to strengthening hips, since weak hips are linked to higher rates of injury.
  • Cross train: Mix up your fitness routine. Don’t only run. Try swimming, biking, tennis, or some other activity. This helps prevent overuse injuries that more commonly occur when you do the same type of exercise over and over again.
  • Dress appropriately: Wear lightweight, breathable clothing that wicks moisture away from your skin. Dress in layers. Also wear a hat to protect against the sun and cold.
  • Be sneaker smart: Wear proper-fitting socks and shoes with good support. If the soles of your running shoes have worn thin or are angled, it’s time to get a new pair. If you have foot problems, such as flat feet or high arches, consider using orthotic shoe inserts. Keep track of how many miles those shoes have logged, and replace them every 600 miles — if not sooner! It’s also worth swinging by a specialty running shoe store, where they can help you figure out which shoe is the perfect fit.
  • Run wisely: Run on a flat, smooth surface and avoid steep hills until your body gets used to the activity. Avoid running on uneven surfaces that put unnecessary stress on ligaments. And while off-roading is a fun change of pace, rough terrain may make it easier to twist an ankle — so be extra careful on the trails.
  • Know your limit: Make sure to take at least one day off per week, and mix up those hill-repeats with some easier recovery runs. Don’t forget to pencil in regular rest days, too. You (and your body) deserve it!
  • Be safe: Run during the day, in well-lit areas, or use a light so that you can be seen. Keep a cell phone and identification on you. If running with headphones, set the volume low enough so that you can hear cars and other noises. Run with a partner when you can.
  • Weather matters: Monitor the weather conditions before you go for a run. Don’t run outside if it is over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, below freezing, or the humidity is high.
  • Stay hydrated: Make sure you drink an extra 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups of water on the days you run. If you are running for more than an hour, drink a sports drink to replenish electrolytes lost in sweat.

Treatment of Common Running Injuries

imagesMost running injuries can be relieved by following these treatment strategies. If pain and discomfort continues, see your health care provider. You may need more advanced treatment to resolve your running injury.

Rest: Take it easy. If you keep running, your injury may get worse. Choose alternative ways to exercise while you heal, such as swimming or cycling.

Ice and cold therapy: Apply ice packs to reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling.

Compression: Wrap the affected area with tape and use splints and supports to control swelling and stabilize the affected area.

Elevate: If you sprain your ankle or hurt your foot, elevate it to reduce swelling.

Stretch: To reduce pain and tension of the affected area, gently stretch and massage the injured area.

Pain relievers: Take pain relievers.

Activity levels: Decrease the amount of activity & return slowly to previous activity levels. Don’t try to push through pain. If you notice discomfort, take a break from running. If the pain continues, seek care from your health care provider.

Disclaimer: Remember that none of this information should substitute professional medical advice. Definitely check with a doctor or physical therapist first once those aches and pains arise!

The Right Run- Common Injuries


Running is a great way to stay in shape. But it can take a toll on your muscles and joints. To avoid running injuries, it’s important to take precautions before you set out.

Most running injuries happen when you push yourself too hard. Adding distance or speed to your running routine, running up hills, and interval training are just some of the reasons running injuries occur. Body mechanics — the way your body is designed — also play a role. The hips, knees, legs, and feet are the most vulnerable to injury.Untitled.001

Runner’s Knee

Type of Injury: Overuse injury

Causes: Several. But it’s commonly due to the kneecap being out of alignment.

What to Look Out For: Vigorous activity leads to pain around the kneecap, particularly when:

  • going up or down stairs
  • squatting
  • sitting with the knee bent for a long time

Stress Fracture

Causes: This is a small crack in a bone that causes pain and discomfort. It typically affects runners in the shin and feet. Often due to going too hard before your body gets used to a new activity.

What to Look Out For: Pain gets worse with activity and improves with rest. Rest is important, as continued stress on the bone can lead to more serious injury.

Shin splint

Causes: Commonly occur after a change in activity, such as running longer distances or increasing the number of days you run too quickly.

What to Look Out For: A pain that occurs in the front or inside of the lower leg along the shin bone (tibia). People with flat feet are more likely to develop shin splints.

Achilles Tendinitis

Causes: This is inflammation of the Achilles tendon.

What to Look Out For: Achilles tendinitis causes pain and stiffness in the area of the tendon, especially in the morning and with activity. It is usually caused by repetitive stress to the tendon, often due to increasing running distance too quickly. Tight calf muscles may also play a part.

Muscle Pull

Causes: A small tear in your muscle, also called a muscle strain, often caused by overstretching of a muscle.

What to Look Out For: If you suffer a pulled muscle, you may feel a popping sensation when the muscle tears.

Muscle pull commonly affects these muscles:

  • hamstrings
  • quadriceps
  • calf
  • groin

Ankle Sprain

Causes: This is the stretching or tearing of ligaments surrounding the ankle. It often occurs when the foot twists or rolls inward.

What to Look Out For: Pain in & around the ankle.

Untitled.001Plantar Fasciitis

Causes: 

An inflammation of the plantar fascia. That’s the thick band of tissue in the bottom of the foot that extends from the heel to the toes. People with tight calf muscles and a high arch are more prone to plantar fasciitis. Although it may be linked to an increase in activity, plantar fasciitis may occur without any identifiable reason.

What to Look Out For: Pain in the arches in weight bearing activities.

Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS)

The iliotibial band is a ligament that runs along the outside of the thigh, from the top of the hip to the outside of the knee.

Causes: ITBS occurs when this ligament thickens and rubs the knee bone, causing inflammation. Long-distance runners are more likely to develop ITBS.

What to Look Out For: This syndrome causes pain on the outside of the knee.

Blisters

Causes: These are fluid-filled sacks on the surface of the skin. They are caused by friction between your shoes/socks and skin.

What You Can Do: To help prevent blisters:

  • start using new shoes gradually
  • wear socks with a double layer
  • apply petroleum jelly on areas prone to blisters

Temperature-related Injuries

These include:

  • sunburn
  • heat exhaustion
  • frostbite
  • hypothermia

These can be prevented by dressing appropriately, staying hydrated, and using sunscreen.

Visit Us This Tuesday to Know More on Injury Prevention & Treatment!

Psoas: ‘The’ Core Muscle


This mighty muscle, lying at the very core of your physical body, has a profound influence upon our well-being.

The psoas is the most important muscle in the body for 3 reasons:

  1. It brought us up to stand. The lumbar curve was created when we came to stand upright by the psoas.
  2. The walking muscle.  It is the muscle responsible for propelling you forward.  There are a lot of muscles helping it, but essentially walking is falling, and falling is all about your psoas. A healthy psoas provides a suspension bridge between trunk and legs. The psoas responds to every movement of the spine. Ideally the psoas guides rather than bears the transfer of weight from the one (trunk) into the two (legs).
  3. It’s a muscle of trauma.  This is the muscle in your body wherein you’re storing your emotions. When feeling threatened it is your psoas muscle that propels you into fleeing or fighting or curls you into a protective ball.

Everything from the chairs we sit in to the shoes we wear can curtail the natural movement of the psoas. Having a constricted psoas might be traced back to your first shoe. Wearing a shoe that shapes the foot, stops bones from rolling, limits ankle mobility, drops the heel behind or shifts the weight onto the toes can and does affect skeletal balance. It can stifle the vitality of your psoas.

Premature standing and walking (before the bones are fully formed and weight bearing) teaches a child to rely on their psoas muscle for structural support. Playpens and walkers encourage early standing and limits crawling, which is so important for kinaesthetic maturation. Plastic baby holders restrain and limit natural movement, rhythm and the protective give and take of a mother’s supple body.

The Effects/Symptoms of a Shortened Psoas

  • Pain with prolonged standing, or standing while leaning forward (doing dishes), pain on rising to stand after sitting, especially when you are leaning forward (computer use or bleacher sitting), and lying flat on your back with the legs flat
  • Constricted organs
  • Impinged nerves
  • Impaired diaphragmatic breathing
  • Putting pressure on the uterus, a tense or short psoas can cause cramping
  • Pushing the oesophagus forwards, a tight upper psoas can cause digestive problems
  • A short psoas can interfere with the diaphragm fully descending through the abdominal core

Psoas as ‘The’ Core Muscle

psoas

See the Psoas as a support.  It is the length and vitality of the psoas that helps to maintain volume in the core. Providing a diagonal muscular shelf, the psoas moves through the core supporting the abdominal organs. A major ganglion of nerves is located on top, around and imbedded through the psoas. Together with the diaphragm, the action of the psoas works like a hydraulic pump to massage the organs and viscera while stimulating the flow of fluids throughout the body.

The keystone of skeletal alignment, it is the balanced pelvis that provides a base of support for the spine, ribcage, neck and head. It is the aligned pelvis that transfers weight down through the hip sockets, legs, knees and feet. If the bones do not support and transfer weight properly, it is the psoas muscle that is called upon to provide structural support, making it tight & weak.

In addition to the psoas being tight, it is also typically weak at the same time. This creates dysfunction in the muscle. Our brain has trouble controlling the muscle because it has been in a shortened position for so long, thinking the psoas always needs to be flexed.

True core strength then, depends upon core integrity. Unlike other muscles, the Psoas does not need strengthening, but rather nourishing. The ‘weak’ Psoas muscle is really a dry, exhausted, Psoas; abused, over-used and too often misused.

Test your Psoas

  • constructive-rest-positionConstructive Rest is an easy position for releasing tension in your psoas muscle. After work and before your evening meal take 10 – 20 minutes to rest in constructive rest and feel the benefits.  Begin by resting on your back. Knees bent and feet placed parallel to each other, the width apart of the front of your hip sockets. Place your heels approximately 12-16 inches away from your buttocks. Keep the trunk and head parallel with the floor. If not parallel place a folded, flat towel under your head. DO NOT push your lower back to the floor or tuck your pelvis under in an attempt to flatten the spine. For best results keep the arms below the shoulder height letting them rest over the ribcage, to the sides of your body or on your belly. There is nothing to do; constructive rest is a BEING position. In this simple position gravity releases the psoas and you’ll feel more at peace with your self and the world.
  • Psoas Strength Test  hip-flexor-strength-test-226x300
    (Modified Sahrmann’s Test (3))
    Here is a general way to determine if your psoas is weak:

    1. Standing, grab and pull your knee to your chest as high as you can without leaning backward. You will need to get your thigh well past 90° (in relation to your supporting leg).
    2. Once your knee is close to your chest, release your hands and attempt to keep your leg above 90 degrees for 15 seconds.
    3. Start timing when you release your hands and stop when your thigh drops below 90° (make sure to use a clock on the wall).

    If you fail before 15 seconds then you have a weak psoas muscle. Any major body shifts, leans, cramping, or loss of control in the allotted time also results in a failed test.  Failure far before 15 seconds shows further weakness. For best accuracy have a fitness professional conduct your test.

For more on Psoas muscle & its conditioning, check out:

Thus working with the Psoas challenges the standard precept of core strength. To really achieve core strength you must first regain a supple, responsive and fluid core so that rich bio-intelligent messages from the central nervous system can foster healthy neuromuscular and skeletal relationships.