Experience the difference at A-Tone Fitness Lounge

1) Tell us a bit about A-Tone and what sets you guys apart from other studios

At A-Tone we have 3 workouts  – celebrity Pilates, cross-cuit and swing yoga.  We offer Yasmin’s secret to every Bollywood actress’ body, to help tone and change their body.  Cross-cuit is a circuit based training, only found at A-TONE, which helps in burning calories and changing the body type.  Swing yoga is yoga on a swing, great workout to really get that deep stretch in.

2) You have a Bollywood celebrity trainer as your co-founder- Why did you choose to partner with Yasmin Karachiwala?

We chose Yasmin as her method of Pilates is unique and different from others.  She has used her Pilates techniques on different celebrities such as Katrina Kaif, Depika Padokone, Alia Bhatt etc and transformed their bodies.  At A-tone our clients can have access to such workouts.

3) Given that she is based in India, what does she bring to the table and how does she influence the workouts?

All the Pilates trainers that are at A-TONE have been trained by Yasmin and follow her methods of Pilates.  She keeps visiting to refresh their methods so we have the most updates form of Pilates available here in Dubai.

4) You offer Yoga, Pilates and a hybrid workout called cross-cuit- can you explain what cross-cuit is and its benefits?

Cross-cuit is a form of circuit training, using weights and body weight workout.  It’s a combination workout working different body parts while adding in some cardio to push that heart rate up and really feel that burn, and eventually see that toned body

5) What are you top 3 tips for people who want to workout but don’t know where to start and which activity would you recommend they start with

Get a personal trainer.  Do not jump into a group class as you would be intimidated and feel pressured to catch up and can also lead to injuries.

Do a combination workout.  Mixing it up really helps the body work in different directions and keeps monotony at bay.  Do cross-cuit one day and Pilates the other, and throw in yoga once or twice a week to really see that body shape up.

Take one day as it comes.  Rome was not built in a day.  Slowly you will get fitter and stronger each day and see the change in your clothes and fitness levels

Finally, give yourself credit for starting, for making that change and not just dreaming about it!!  It’s the first step that counts the most.

In terms of how to start, Pilates is a great way to begin your workout journey.  It’s a mindful workout and not too harsh on the body.  It helps work those deep inner muscles and really burn those calories.  After this, the trainer can kick in some cardio and weights combination to keep the heart rate up and continue the burn.

Shake up your workout with a protein shake

You put so much effort into getting fit that you’re probably willing to try just about anything in the hope of staying fit and making all that work pay off. Look around the gym or fitness studio and you’ll probably find a sea of bottles, filled with various shakes, smoothies, and supplements. Everyone from the muscle-head training for a figure competition to the grandmother who wants to get in shape to play with her grandchildren seems to have a magic formula to sip on between reps or on the walk back out to the real world.

In fact, you might think that, if you don’t follow the trend, you’re somehow missing out on the key to health and wellness, that the shake itself is what would seal your success.

Here are a few quick facts, and then we’ll dive in a bit deeper:

  • Nutrition is crucial to your overall fitness. You may have heard the phrase “abs begin in the kitchen,” and to a certain point, that’s true. But defining your goal is the most important part of the equation. If you’re looking to lose weight, you may have a different set of nutritional guidelines to follow than someone who wants to build muscle mass, perform better in a specific sport, get better endurance for longer workouts, etc. There is no one-shake-fits-all recipe.
  • Calories count. This may seem like an overly simple statement, but the truth is that every addition to your shake or smoothie means that the overall calorie load and nutritional density change. Dumping in various powders, fruits, nut butters, and more may make the shake more delicious and filling, but you need to weigh that against what it will require you to do in terms of activity.
  • The more processed the ingredient is, the more cautious you should be. Regulation of supplements and shakes can be a little looser than for medically prescribed items, and companies have a vested interest in making delicious and appealing products, so you may not want or need some additives. Sugars or artificial sweeteners are prevalent in many brands, as are artificial flavors, refined soy, and other ingredients companies add to bulk up the powder. Some supplementation may be very helpful, but keep in mind that real, whole foods provide many nutritional benefits without the drawbacks!

Let’s get into more detail and specifically talk about the what, why, when, and how of protein shakes.

What?

What’s the difference between a shake and a protein shake? Sometimes, not that much. Because protein is found in milk and milk products as well as nuts, nut butters, and several other additives, even a dessert shake has protein in it! The biggest difference (outside of marketing) is that protein shakes are designed to support and enhance fitness goals, and they are meant to be consumed at specific periods or intervals so they help muscle cells recover after tough workouts.

While not required, another hallmark of a protein shake is that it often includes a protein powder or supplement. The sources may include:

  • Milk
  • Whey
  • Casein
  • Egg
  • Soy
  • Rice
  • Legumes (peas, nuts, or beans – technically, these may be classified as vegetables, but companies have started to use them as plant-based powders)

What’s especially nice about the options is that there are variations for all needs: milk and whey protein sources won’t be appropriate for someone with a dairy intolerance, but plant-based proteins may work well. Someone who avoids soy may prefer a pea or egg protein.

If the goal is just to increase your protein intake, eating a spoonful of almond butter or a couple of hard-boiled eggs will do the trick. A shake can include other nutrient-rich ingredients like fruits, vegetables, or grains to make a blend that is more filling, more flavorful, and a more balanced part of the day’s food.

Why?

Protein is a macronutrient, and along with fat and carbohydrate, it’s essential to the human diet. Protein is made up of amino acids linked together by peptide bonds, and its main goal in the context of fitness is to help build and repair body tissues.

types of amino acids: essential, which the body can’t make on its own, and nonessential, which the body is able to manufacture. Essential amino acids have to come from food or another source, which is why powders and other supplements are so trendy.

How much protein does a person need? It really depends on the individual and the goals. NASM recommends:

  • Sedentary adult: 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight every day
  • Strength athletes: 1.2-1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight every day
  • Endurance athletes: 1.2-1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight every day

Outside of a fitness regimen, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. (You can use this interactive calculator to look at your own needs, and remember that 1 pound equals 0.453592 kilograms, so you will have to do some conversions!)

When?

Timing matters, and for some, it’s crucial. A person managing a disease like diabetes, for example, may have blood sugar concerns that are affected by a workout. A pregnant woman may want to pay closer attention to what she eats before, during, and after her workout because of its effect on the growing baby.

And for all of us, ensuring that we’re giving our muscles and body the fuel and hydration they need not only to perform but to perform safely is at the heart of the matter.

Typically, athletes consume a protein shake after a workout, especially if the goal is to help repair muscle and let the body absorb and process the shake quickly.

But recent studies show that drinking a shake or eating protein an hour or two before a workout may be as or even more effective! Remember those amino acids we talked about above? They can, according to many experts, prevent injury and increase your ability to build muscle during a workout. Getting the nutrients into your system before you work up a sweat and then replenishing with a small snack or shake afterwards may be the perfect 1-2 combo.

Be careful consuming anything closer to a workout, though – it can be hard on your stomach, and if you’re uncomfortable, you won’t be able to do your routine effectively!

How?

I asked some of my registered dietitian and nutritionist friends for some smoothie and shake recipes, and they came up with some delicious ideas. Notice their focus on real, whole foods and natural protein sources – and when they do recommend supplementing with a powder, they explain which one and why:

Choose My Plate has a great list of foods with their protein amounts, so depending on your own needs, you can add some items to help boost a macronutrient.

And remember: be cautious of calorie overload. A protein shake can quickly go from a few hundred calories to a few thousand and be more like a dessert than a recovery snack. Your shake should help you reach your goals, not derail them.

So, what’s the take-away message?

Pay attention to what you eat and when, and if a shake or smoothie sounds delicious and refreshing and you can use it as a vehicle for supporting your workout – go for it! I love having a green smoothie, especially after a really sweaty workout. I use spinach or kale, a frozen banana, a few dates, mixed berries, almond milk, a little nut butter, a scoop of protein powder, and a dash of cinnamon and enjoy every last sip of the sweet, healthy treat.

But if that doesn’t appeal to you, either find another source of protein that you do love (a spoonful of peanut butter!) or just eat a well-balanced diet. There’s no magic in a shake, and if you skip it, you aren’t undoing your workout or missing the key to weight loss and fitness.

Source: https://www.fix.com/blog/timing-your-protein-shakes/

A Guide to Postpartum Fitness

In an era when we are surrounded by images of celebrities bouncing back effortlessly after having a baby, it can be difficult to have realistic expectations for your postpartum fitness journey. The focus on returning to your pre-baby body also can take the focus away from the real reasons behind engaging in postpartum fitness: long-term health and happiness for you and your baby. Pursuing postpartum fitness will not only help you achieve certain superficial physical goals, but also provide myriad mental and life benefits, from self-care to an improved ability to care for your baby.

When considering your return to fitness after giving birth, setting yourself up for healthy, realistic expectations should be at the forefront of your mind. It is easy to be convinced by the media and celebrities that achieving that “pre-baby bod” is easy, painless, and should happen extremely quickly. Unfortunately, while many celebrity moms have succeeded in empowering new mothers to pursue body confidence, they have also set new moms up for accomplishing their goals within an abbreviated timeline.

Why are celebrities able to achieve such results in such a short amount of time? The simple answer is a combination of fortunate genetics and even more fortunate circumstances. Remember, celebrities often have a whole staff and team to help them rebound to that amazing body; also, they are PAID to do this, and their careers demand it! Remember that celebrities are, in many ways, professional athletes: they are in exemplary physical condition and have personal trainers, dietitians, and nannies on staff to make sure that they return to that amazing pre-baby body. Furthermore, they are usually blessed with the genetics to help them, and years of maintenance encourage their bodies to rebound to their previous states. Focus on your own journey!

While genetics and circumstances – such as the amount of time and thought that you can devote to returning to fitness – are major elements in your body’s resiliency, so too are level of fitness at time of birth and age. A 40-year-old woman who has maintained a steady fitness regime of workouts and healthy eating for years might recover faster than a new mother who is 30 years old but has always led a sedentary lifestyle. As a general rule, however, one can expect that the more advanced in age and less fit one is, the harder and longer the process will be, and greater care that will need to be taken to ensure a safe and sustainable health and fitness lifestyle postpartum.

So, you have given birth. Congratulations! What can you expect from your fitness journey?

First and foremost, check with your doctor! Depending on the method of delivery and any complications that might have occurred, you may need total rest for your abdomen during the first two months.

The first six weeks after giving birth, expect to be cleared for walking only. With the change in your lifestyle and taking care of a little one on a less-than-optimal sleep schedule, you will likely be grateful to have permission not to work out! Feeling pressure to get back at it or cut calories? Remember that in the weeks following birth, your body is healing from the inside out, not to mention that you may also be producing milk for your child. The physical repairs, changes in lifestyle and hours spent awake, and breastfeeding will actually increase your caloric needs, often by as many as 500 extra calories a day for breastfeeding alone. Talk to your doctor to determine how much weight loss is safe during this time; losing weight too quickly can be a sign that something is wrong.

Many new mothers are surprised to discover that, even without a baby inside, they still have a bump! Don’t worry, the baby-less bump will go down with time; if it does not, you may be dealing with diastasis recti.

Diastasis Recti

Diastasis recti, or separation of the large abdominal muscles, is a condition that affects approximately 1 in 200,000 pregnant women. If you are still not seeing your belly flatten at all in the weeks or months following birth, or if there appears to be a drastic or uneven pooch at any time, talk to your doctor, as you may have diastasis recti. This will impact your return to fitness.

Diastasis recti is more prevalent in women with babies of larger birth weight, women with multiple births, and women over 35. Though rarely painful, it is a relatively serious condition that will impact the way you use your body and, if not treated correctly through physical therapy, can be permanent. Have your doctor examine you during your post-delivery appointments; if diastasis recti is present, consult a physical therapist immediately. Avoid exercises such as planks, situps, and even yoga poses such as downward dog.

During these first six weeks, focus on the joys and trials of new motherhood, as well as your mental and physical health through proper nutrition, sleep, gentle stretching, and, if necessary, counseling.

Six Weeks to Three Months

After your six-week appointment is the time to really start to buckle down on your nutrition. Remember, you are not only fueling your own body’s return to health and fitness, but also feeding that cutie in your arms! All the more reason to fuel for success with a diet full of veggies, whole foods, and quality proteins. Talk to your doctor about the calorie intake necessary for breastfeeding, because while you might have weight loss on the mind, your body needs sufficient fuel for the baby as well. A food journal is a great place to start.

Your doctor will begin to determine if you are fit for exercise at your six-week appointment. If your physician gives you the go-ahead, start to plan a return-to-fitness program. A balanced mix of cardio, strength training, and stability work will help you feel and look your best. But don’t expect to start out where you left off; instead, plan on starting gently and gradually increasing intensity month by month.

You might start with a full week of stroller walking with some bodyweight squats, triceps dips, and baby-weight biceps curls interspersed throughout. The second week might see you engage in some postpartum yoga or Pilates classes (find licensed practitioners!) and light weights at the gym. If you are new to working out with weights, hire a professional who can show you the proper way to work out your new body.  

Three to Six Months

Now might be a great time to try running! Aim for a total of 10 minutes of running your first time out, and gradually extend that time by adding in more intervals and more time running. Also, when you are walking, make it a working, not idling, walk. Make sure to hydrate and have a small snack with protein and carbohydrates after, such as a small, low-sugar granola bar (look for one with more protein than sugar, and less than 150 calories), or half an apple with a piece of string cheese.

Expect to be slower when running, to fatigue more easily, and to not to be able to carry the same amount of weight. That’s okay! You are going to set new post-baby personal records every day. Consider every workout a success and treat that time as self-care time, whether you meet up with girlfriends or enjoy the quiet.

During the first six months of your health and fitness journey, you’ll have weeks where you make incredible progress and weeks when you find that you plateau or even slip up. When less-successful weeks occur, remind yourself that this truly is a journey and that everybody is unique. Focus on your successes and what you can do, not what you can’t. Because you may not be able to do that pullup just yet. You might not be cleared for running, but that doesn’t mean that stairs are off-limits. You might have to carry your baby to comfort and get him or her to sleep, but that just means you have a little extra weight for you squats.

Set accessible goals that make sense for you and your lifestyle, above all, and enlist help to achieve those goals. Don’t assume that your body is going to respond the same way that it did before your child – fluctuating hormones, pelvic changes, and more will likely result in a body that seems to have a mind of its own for a little while.

6 Months to 1 Year

Six months after giving birth is a great time to assess your progress and potentially set new goals. If you have been stroller walking for the duration of your postpartum fitness journey, why not try stroller running and even set a goal of running a 5K with your baby in front of you? Maybe try your hand at a new form of exercise, like kickboxing or Zumba!

By the time your baby is about 9 months old, you should find that you are cleared for most all exercise and that you have made substantial progress in working toward your fitness and health goals. If you are no longer breastfeeding, remember that your diet may also require some changes to achieve any weight loss goals. That said, with the increase in fitness and activity as well as lean muscle mass, you might find that you actually need to eat more than before! If you have questions, consult a registered dietitian who can help you maintain your results.

You may have gotten into your postpartum fitness journey as a way to get back to your pre-baby body, but if you go about postpartum fitness correctly, you will likely find that activity is an indispensable part of your daily or weekly life. Keep it up, Mama, and set an amazing example for your kiddo to lead a life of health and happiness!

Source: https://www.fix.com/blog/guide-to-postpartum-fitness/

What To Do When You Don’t Feel Like Working Out

Whether you’re a gym rat or a fitness beginner, we all have days when we don’t feel like working out. Maybe it’s been a stressful week, and you just want to get home and relax. Perhaps you’ve been working out for weeks and are feeling frustrated that you aren’t seeing results. Maybe you used to go to the gym regularly but fell off, and you’re now having a hard time returning. Or maybe you just have no idea where to start and are feeling overwhelmed at the prospect.

Whatever the reason, sometimes we just don’t feel like working out. Here are some tactics to get you through.

Make a Plan

The first step to reaching any goal is setting the goal in the first place. Try to make your goals S.M.A.R.T:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time bound

This is usually the part that trips people up. Many people know they want to feel better, but they don’t know what will get them there because they haven’t given it much thought. Losing weight is measurable goal, but it isn’t terribly specific. How much weight do you want to lose? Maybe you want to lose 10 pounds, which is specific and measurable. It’s also more realistic and attainable than saying you want to lose 50 pounds is (which is still attainable, but much more difficult). Next, ask yourself whether the goal is relevant. If there’s no real reason you want to lose weight, you likely won’t stick to the goal. It must have some relevance in your life to matter to you. Finally, make it time bound by putting some constraints on the goal. How quickly do you want to lose 10 pounds? Two weeks may not be attainable, but two months might be. By making your goal time bound, you’re adding some built-in motivation and accountability.

Figure out What’s Holding you Back

Before you can implement steps to reach your goal, it’s important to determine what’s been holding you back so far. Are you struggling to feel motivated? Is working out hard because you don’t have a babysitter? You can’t justify the cost of a gym membership or personal trainer? Whatever is holding you back, it’s important to acknowledge it so you can get past it.

It’s also important to make sure you’re ready. Fitness, like any other habit, requires you to be ready to make a change in your life. Per the transtheoretical model of behavior change, if a person is not ready to make a change, it won’t stick. It’s important to understand which stage you’re in and that we can relapse and reenter at any stage. Slipping up every now and then does not set you back to square one.

Break the Plan Into Smaller Pieces

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your goals won’t be accomplished in one fell swoop either. Take that big goal you set and break it into smaller pieces. Sure, maybe you want to go to the gym five days a week, but how realistic is that when you’re first starting out? Set a smaller goal to start, such as working out three days a week, and celebrate when you accomplish it. You’ll feel great about hitting these goals, which will make you more likely to continue.

Not only can you break your plan into smaller pieces, but also you can break your workout into smaller pieces! The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 30–60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (five days per week) or 20–60 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise (three days per week). The good news is that research has shown that it is just as effective if you break these workouts into 10-minute intervals – if you’re working at the right intensity. As such, a 10-minute body weight workout before work, a 30-minute brisk walk at lunch, and 20 minutes on the stationary bike after work count as 60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise.

Remove Excuses Before They Arise

This comes from identifying what has been holding you back. Get your gym bag ready at night before you go to bed so if you’re running late in the morning, you won’t skip bringing it. If you want to get up early for a run, lay out your workout clothes and get to bed early. That way, all you will need to do is throw them on, lace up your shoes and head out the door. Choose a time to work out and stick with it by creating an appointment in your calendar. You wouldn’t cancel a meeting with a coworker, so don’t cancel an appointment with yourself for your workout.

Working out for a specific event or goal, like a wedding or a high school reunion, can be great for motivation. The pitfall is that once that event has passed, it can be hard to maintain the motivation for working out that existed before. To maintain that motivation long term, it’s important to find your why. This is the real reason behind working out. For some people, it is becoming fitter so they aren’t out of breath while playing with their children. Others want to lose weight to live longer and to be around for their family. It could include wanting more energy to get through the day. Whatever the reason, it’s personal and it’s something that will last long term. When you know your why and are reminded of it every day, it’s a whole lot easier to get up before sunrise for a run.

Source: https://www.fix.com/blog/motivating-yourself-to-work-out/

Motion Ladies Fitness Center

Motion Ladies Fitness center is a boutique studio located in the heart of Jumeirah, with easy parking and a wonderful view of Burj Al Arab. It combines the latest equipment, qualified and passionate coaches and diversified classes making each workout fulfilling. You are invited to challenge yourself to become a fitter, healthier and happier you in a ladies only studio and to watch your body get transformed. Below are a few questions answered by the trainers at Motion ladies to give you a better understanding of the studio.

1)  Tell us a little bit about Motion Ladies, and what sets you guys apart from other fitness studios?

Motion, the “Fitness Villa”, is a community for Dubai Ladies to work on their lifestyle and reach their goals in a relaxing, supportive and cozy environment. Motion Fitness Center is not simply a gym; it is a home away from home, designed by women for women with an exceptionally welcoming energy, where comfort combines with great workouts, passionate coaches and diversified classes.

2)  You offer a booty barre class, a group barre class, and a total barre class- what’s the difference between all 3 classes

Booty Barre was founded by Tracey Mallet, being a dancer and PILATES teacher, she created sexy, energetic, fun workout that fuses PILATES, YOGA and DANCE. An hour-long class consists of a dynamic warm up and upper bodywork, followed by 30 minutes at the Barre working in different directions with cardio blasts to keep the heart rate elevated. High energy music will keep you motivated to get in those last few reps!

Total Barre workout is an addition to the fitness world from Canadian Pilates factory STOTT. Incorporating Pilates principles with the ballet elements this workout strengthens and lengthens your body.

BARRE class has a more conventional approach on the client. Mix and match of ballet elements and old school fitness workout. Try all 3 and decide which your favorite is.

3) For those people who prefer to work out in gyms, why should they do group classes instead?

When working out in groups, you are surrounded by supportive, positive energy that motivates you to give every workout your all and finish the workout fully with every member of the group class.

4) What are the benefits of a varied workout?

It is proven that if you challenge yourself in different ways you will gain the most of it.      Focusing only on one type of exercise is not enough to be fit and healthy. For example, it would be ideal for you to work on your flexibility (yoga), cardio and strength and posture (Pilates). All of this you can experience in our beautiful studio.

5) Mat Pilates and reformer Pilates are both offered at your studio. What’s the difference between the two and which one is better?

One cannot say which is better as both are equally useful. Reformer is a Pilates machine that uses resistance springs to challenge your body while mat PILATES uses different props or your own body weight. Both focus on proper body alignment. Often clients combine these two so they don’t get bored easily.

6) We would like your top 3 tips to any lady trying to start her workout routine but unsure of how to go about it.

  • Set weekly goals for yourself.
  • Make sure your goals are realistic and clear.
  • Start slow and then gradually build up to more intense exercises.

Fitness Instructor at Motion:

Antonija Omeragic

Master of Kinesiology

STOTT PILATES Certified Instructor

In her early age Antonija started to show interest for sport.  Her passion for the sport continued through college during her education at the University of Kinesiology in Zagreb, Croatia. University provided a firm foundation for an ongoing education in the Health and Fitness Industry.

Further education in Pilates (STOTT EDUCATION ) has been more than helpful in understanding human body and realizing the importance of good posture ( spine ). An on-going education is everything in the Health and Fitness Industry, and so, Antonija tries to keep up with the latest news and trends.

 

Walk Your Way to Fitness

Walking is more than a way to get from here to there. Tossing on a pair of sneakers and heading out for a stroll has numerous health benefits that go way beyond weight loss. If you are new to exercise, recovering from an injury, or just hoping to spend more time in nature, walking is the perfect first step.

Getting Started on a Walking Program

The best part about walking for health and fitness is that all you need is a pair of sneakers. If you have an injury, or are recovering from one, or if you struggle doing weight-bearing activities, it is recommended that you consult your physician before incorporating any physical activity into your routine.

Once you are committed to starting a walking program, schedule 15–20 minutes 5 times a week to get outside and find your stride.

Day 1 should involve a brisk walk for 15 minutes that is slightly faster than a leisure stroll, but not so quick that you can’t comfortably carry on a conversation. Assess how you feel after your first day. A little soreness can be expected if you are not used to walking for longer intervals.

Repeat your 15-minute route on Day 2. If you woke up feeling great after your first walk, tack on an extra 5 minutes on the second day.

If you are feeling fatigued, Day 3 can be used as a rest day. However, if you are still feeling energized and strong, go for another 15- to 20-minute walk.

Day 4 will be your final walk before you rest day, so really try and push yourself. If you have been maintaining 15 minutes all week, bump it up to 20 minutes. If you have been going for 20-minute walks, aim for 25 minutes.

Day 5 is the perfect time to rest and reflect on your success so far this week. You have already walked between 60 and 80 minutes, which is about half the amount of moderate weekly exercise recommended by the Mayo Clinic.

Now that your legs are rested, it’s time to push yourself with a 25–35 minute walk. You’re going to be walking farther than you have all week, so make sure you start out slower than usual and gradually build speed over the duration of your walk.

Day 7 is your last rest day for the week. Keep this framework each week while adding time, distance, and speed to your workouts. Before you know it, you will be walking for 60 minutes straight!

What’s in a Number?

If you have been walking for a while and are ready to kick it up a notch, strap on your step counter, and aim to be part of the 10,000 Steps a Day Club. While 10,000 steps isn’t an official recommendation by the Center for Disease Control, it is an achievable goal to help you stay healthy and active. By walking 10,000 steps each day, you are covering roughly 5 miles (there’s roughly 2,000 steps per mile) while burning an additional 3,500 calories a week. That is equivalent to 1 lb of fat! Here are some changes you can make to help you get your steps in.

  1. Walk to work: If you live within walking distance of your office, this is an easy change to make. Start by vowing to walk to work three days a week. Not only will you get more steps in, but the fresh air will leave you feeling alert and focused by the time you arrive at the office.
  2. Skip a stop: If you commute on a bus, metro, or train, get off a stop or two before your workplace. These extra few blocks will quickly add up on your step counter.
  3. Back of the lot: When heading to the shopping mall or grocery store, choose a parking space far from the entrance. Not only will you get extra steps in, but you will also have lots of parking spaces available and no worries about carts or car doors dinging you.
  4. Take the stairs: Skip the elevator and head for the stairwell. Climbing stairs is a great way to tone your legs and behind, while improving your cardiovascular fitness. If you work on the 20th floor of a high-rise, taking the stairs might seem like an impossible task – especially first thing in the morning. Instead of dismissing the idea, hop off the elevator a few floors early and continue your commute in the stairwell. Slowly add more floors until you can conquer them all.
  5. Lunch hour stroll: Keep a pair of sneakers at your desk and head out of the office on your lunch break for a walk. It’s a great time to get some fresh air, clear your head, and relax a little before a long afternoon of meetings and emails.
  6. After-dinner routine: Make it part of your evening routine to head outside for a stroll after dinner. It’s a great opportunity to set a healthy example and bond with your family. The dishes can wait.

Unexpected Benefits of Walking

Losing weight, toning your legs and buttocks, and having more energy are great benefits associated with walking, but these aren’t the only benefits your body will experience when you lace up your shoes. You might be surprised by these additional health benefits associated with walking.

  1. Happiness: Exercise is a great way to boost your mood. Going for a brisk walk can help reduce anxiety and stress.
  2. Dementia Prevention: Going for a 30–40 minute walk a few times a week can prevent brain shrinkage and memory loss.
  3. Digestion: Going for a walk after a meal can help speed up your rate of digestion. A quick 15-minute walk will stimulate your midsection and help you feel less bloated.
  4. Immunity Boost: Studies suggest that walking for 30 to 40 minutes will boost the amount of immune system cells in your body. This increase in cells remains for several hours after exercising.2Also, when a person follows a regular workout routine, there appears to be a cumulative effect that helps protect the body from illness over time.

Whether you have had a stressful day or you want to start on a weight-loss journey, walking is the perfect solution. Start today by slipping on your tennis shoes and exploring your neighborhood. You might be surprised by how quickly you notice the benefits.

Source: https://www.fix.com/blog/walking-fitness-plan/

Five-Minute Workout Bursts For Your Busy Days

I know I am not unique in having a gross shortfall in discretionary time. It appears there is a never-ending list of appointments and things to do and not nearly enough time for self-care. Tim Ferris, who wrote The 4-Hour Body, asks, “What if we could find the Minimal Effective Dose (MED) for activities of daily living so that we could free up time to do the things we really want to do?” I agree. Who doesn’t want more time in their day?

So, what would an MED mean for fitness? When it comes to fitness, it seems that an hour-long class at the gym or repeated lengthy bouts on your elliptical are what we are told it takes to get fit. But what if I told you there are other ways to be fit, and they might be more effective, make you smarter, and help you live longer?

How do these short bursts of exercise work? Short-burst workouts are intended to be highly versatile for your busy schedule. Ideally, you perform these burst workouts whenever you have a few free minutes during your day.

What Are The Benefits of a Five-Minute Burst Workout?

Improved athletic capacity: Burst or high-intensity workouts increase athletic output by building endurance and strength in a different way than slow, steady workouts.

Improved glucose metabolism: Our ability to regulate our glucose levels improves significantly with high-intensity workouts.

Heightened resting metabolic rate or afterburn: Although it may not appear you have burned many calories during a burst session, your ability to burn more calories steadily throughout the rest of the day will be markedly improved over traditional cardio.

Faster and more efficient: Because the intensity is heightened, there is no need, nor is it safe, to perform extended versions of burst workouts. By their very nature they are designed to be short and sweet.

Better brain function: Brain structure and cognition have been shown to improve with intense burst-type exercise. Even better, the best improvements are seen in areas of the brain where age-related decline tends to occur.

Boost in human growth hormone and fat burning: HGH is going to elevate after a burst exercise session to restore lost glycogen. Fat will then be burned as a result of elevated HGH. Although we aren’t in “fat burning” mode during burst exercise, the fat burning that occurs after the workout, during recovery, is of far greater benefit.

Improved longevity: When you perform burst exercise you get an increase in anti-aging and anabolic hormones. These hormones are essential for healing and slowing the aging process.

What Are The Rules of The Burst Workout Game?

  1. Always be safe and know your limits.
  2. If you are not sweating and panting by the end of the five minutes, you have done something grievously wrong.
  3. Don’t cheat. Go the full interval.
  4. Make sure to get warmed up. Walking briskly or some gentle dynamic stretching is very effective.
  5. Stretch after your burst. These circuits are very challenging and stretching can make a big difference between possessing calves like painful rocks or feeling like a million dollars.
  6. If you are a beginner, start slowly. These individual bursts build on each other. Go at a pace that allows you to safely execute the whole five-minute circuit.

Five Five-Minute Burst Workouts to do in The Comfort of Your Own Home

KITCHEN: Push a kitchen chair against a door or wall so that it is secure. Start with 30 seconds of step-ups on the chair. Perform these as intensely as you can muster. Next, turn around, facing away from the chair. Put your hands on the chair with your legs straight out in front of you. Perform 30 seconds of triceps dips. Continue facing away from the chair. Place the top of your foot on the chair so you are in a lunge position with your back leg elevated onto the chair. Perform single-leg squats with one leg extended for 30 seconds. Switch sides. Repeat circuit again. For the fifth and final minute do box jumps (jump-ups) onto the chair for one minute.

BEDROOM: This is a core series. What better place to take care of those love handles than in the bedroom, where they are seen a little more frequently? You only need a tiny space to perform this circuit. Start in a side-plank position. Slowly touch the downside hip to the floor and come back up again. Repeat until your 30 seconds are up (side-plank with hip touches). Roll forward into a plank position and bring your right knee between your arms. Gently tap the inside of each elbow for 15 seconds and then change knees (plank with knee touches to inside of elbows). Turn over onto your back and perform the bicycle abdominal exercise. Do this by touching the right knee to the left elbow and then switch. Perform these for 30 seconds. Use control and keep your core engaged the whole time. Finally, stand up quickly and do the high-knees exercise for 30 seconds by bringing each knee up to your chest separately in a vigorous, exaggerated running motion. Repeat this circuit two times.

STAIRS: Sprint up and down your stairs for one minute. Do 20 jumping jacks. Sprint up and down the stairs again for one minute. Follow with 10 push-ups. Repeat the stair sprints, alternating the push-ups and jumping jacks in between sprints. Do a total of four 1-minute sprints.

FAMILY ROOM: In this workout, we are going to do 20-second bursts of effort with 10-second rests. Start with 20 seconds of vigorous mountain climbers by getting into a plank position and “running .” Get your knees as close to the space inside your arms as possible. Rest for 10 seconds. Stand and get into a squat position. Jump up and then back down into a squat position. Don’t let your butt drop past your knees during these squat jumps. Perform with intensity for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds. From a standing position, bend over and place your hands on the floor in front of you. Perform a modified inchworm by walking your arms out until your body is in a plank position. Briskly walk the arms back into your starting position and stand up. Repeat this modified inchworm for 30 seconds, keeping the core engaged. Take a 10-second rest and then head to the coffee table for incline push-ups. Place your hands on the coffee table or couch so you are in an incline plank position. Holding your core tight, perform incline push-ups for 20 seconds. Modify as needed. Finally, after your last 10-second rest, get into a side plank position. If you are able, raise your top leg and arm so that you are in the shape of a star, for side star plank. Hold for 20 seconds. Only do one side per circuit and then switch the next time through. Rest for 10 seconds. Go through the circuit two times for a total of five minutes.

Now that you know the many benefits to short burst-style workouts and how easy they are to incorporate into your day, I can’t wait for you to try them. Remember to start easy and build your intensity as you get used to each exercise. Pay special attention to form and maintaining control of your body. If you would like additional information on the benefits of burst workouts for body and brain, follow up with the resources listed below.

Source: https://www.fix.com/blog/five-minute-workout-bursts/

EMIRATI WOMEN IN FITNESS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emirati women have been recognized for their pivotal role in the community and their contribution to the development and advancement of the UAE on various areas and levels. Over the years, Emirati women have broken all sorts of barriers and have been triumphant in spreading awareness about sports, fitness and health. Emirati women are taking matters into their own hands and achieving the goals they set for themselves in an effort to inspire other young girls and women to do the same. Today (August 28) marks the 3rd Emirati Women’s Day, so here we feature some incredibly influential local women and their achievements in the fitness and sports industry

‘Make time for yourself, love your body, do everything you do with passion. If you do not like a sport, try another one”. Never give up is the message Amna Al Merri wants to convey to women. Al Merri- a 24 year old bioengineer by profession and certified gym trainer and weight-lifting instructor serves as an inspiration to all women. She works for the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) but her true passion lies in the women-only running club in Dubai which she founded along with her three friends. The running club provides free training to women of all nationalities to urge them to focus on their health and fitness. This love for physical fitness led to the creation of Anagow, which means “I am strong” in Arabic. Al Merri loved that her self-esteem and energy levels were boosted through exercising and wanted to inspire more Emirati women to start running and wanted to encourage them to be healthy.  “We train with different running programmes, timing each member so that they can one day participate in the marathon. We use body weight to do weight-bearing exercises and many of our members are now participating in marathons,” said Al Merri.

Amal Mourad is one of the first female Emirati parkour coaches and calisthenics athlete in the Middle East. It can be overwhelming to start a new sport but she explains why she loves Parkour so much- “My favorite part of parkour is that you’re overcoming the obstacles that are in your head that you have created for yourself . When I first started practicing the sport it liberated me from a lot of things, I wasn’t afraid anymore, I wasn’t afraid of being who I really am, I wasn’t afraid of trying something new, I wasn’t afraid of what people thought about me, I wasn’t afraid to fall, I actually learned how to land”. As challenging as Parkour was she didn’t let it stop her.

On the other hand, coming from Abu Dhabi was a woman who defied all odds and chose to become a figure skater. “I’m covered, I’m Muslim, I’m from a desert country but I’m doing a winter sport and it’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with it.” Words spoken by Zahra Lari who is the first Emirati figure skater. Lari proves that there is nothing you can’t do when you put your mind to it. Being a hijabi or from a desert country did not stand in her way to achieve her dreams. She aspires to compete in the Winter Olympics and would be the first person to represent the UAE in such an event. Both women are prime examples of chasing your dreams and being able to compete and participate in sports even if they are outside your comfort zone.

Emirati women are constantly engaging in sports and fitness. The 2016 Olympic Games in Rio were especially momentous because Nada Al Bedwawi made history for not only being the youngest female to carry the UAE flag in the opening ceremony but also the for being the first female to represent the country in swimming. She was quoted as saying “It’s been a great honor to represent my country and, most importantly, represent the young Emirati girls, especially those who want to do sports.” Sexism is still prevalent in sporting events and Al Bedwawi is hoping that this perception will shift as more female athletes compete. “My main goal is to break down these barriers, these gender barriers, and pave the way for other female swimmers,” said Al Bedwawi after her 50m freestyle heat. “Especially in our country, people are reluctant to start something new.

Another female athlete breaking barriers is Ayesha Al Balooshi, an Emirati weightlifter. This was only the second time that a female weightlifter has represented the UAE, the other being Khadija Mohammed, who competed in London four years ago. Al Balooshi walked away proud saying “I achieved my Olympic goals, I walked behind the flag in the opening ceremony and proved that nothing is impossible for Emirati girls who can do wonders in all games.” As the women left the Olympics, they left with the hope that the games inspire more Emirati women to participate in sports and as Al Badwari says, “The dream is that when we return to the Olympics in four years time, we arrive with many more athletes — and especially more women.”

Besides the Olympics, here are a few Emirati females blazing a trail in their respective fields

  1. 15-year-old Alia Al Shamsi became the first female swimmer to fly the UAE flag in a competition when she swam the 50m and 100m breaststroke and 50m backstroke at the Arab Championships in Dubai.
  2. Track and field athlete Fatima Al Hosani won a silver medal in discus throw at the Asian Youth Athletics Championships in Doha.
  3. The UAE Cycling Federation formed a women’s national team in 2012 and their four-medal haul at the Arab Track Championships in Sharjah was an unprecedented feat for them.

This day is part of a bigger movement to increase female empowerment in the Middle East and there would be no women’s empowerment in the UAE without the critical support provided by the political leadership and so, we hope to see more Emirati women in sports paving the way to more success and bigger achievements.

Warm Lemon Water: Healthy or Hype?

 

Warm lemon water is the health trend of the moment. It’s been touted for its magical benefits, each one seemingly more incredible than the last. When high-profile celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Naomi Campbell start drinking it, you can be sure the popular wave of interest is not far behind. But is drinking warm lemon water really all it’s cracked up to be? Let’s sort out the hype from the real health benefits.

Warm Lemon Water Truths

  • Can lemon water keep you hydrated? Yes. It is water, after all.
  • Can lemon water boost your Vitamin C levels? A little. It depends on how much lemon you add to the water. Lemon also contains calcium, iron, and potassium.
  • Can lemon water be a good replacement for juice or coffee? Absolutely. There is no sugar in lemon water so substituting it for juice or sugary coffees is a healthy option.

Why You Should Really Try Drinking Warm Lemon Water

The real magic of warm lemon water may be psychological. Adding lemon to water can be more interesting and flavorful than just drinking plain water. If the lemony flavour helps you to drink more water, that’s good. If you’re used to a hot coffee or tea in the morning, drinking your lemon water warm can offer that same bit of comfort, especially on a cold day.

Furthermore, simply feeling like you are making a healthier choice (if it’s replacing sugary coffee or juice you actually are) can have positive benefits for brain and body. Science has shown that the placebo effect can be a powerful phenomenon with real physical and emotional effects.

When to Drink Warm Lemon Water

  1. First thing in the morning: rehydrating upon waking up is a good idea, as you’ve just spent around eight hours not consuming any liquids. You can lose water through skin perspiration but did you know you can even lose it through your breathing?
  2. When you feel hungry: if you’re feeling hungry, it could actually be that you’re actually dehydrated. Try drinking a tall glass of lemon water before deciding whether or not you need food. If you have a goal of eating less at meals, drinking water right before a meal can be a good way to help you feel fuller so you won’t be as tempted by those second helpings.
  3. Post-workout: immediately after exercise is a crucial time to rehydrate. Try bringing a bottle of infused waterwith you to the gym. Try to drink small sips throughout your workout (to avoid getting cramps midway), and then fully hydrate immediately after.

In spite of all the old folklore and current hype surrounding warm lemon water, there are plenty of reasons why it’s a good habit to incorporate into your daily routine. Personally, I’m always trying to stay hydrated, and the fact that adding lemon makes water much more enjoyable to consume is benefit enough. It’s a healthier option than juice or sugary coffee, and much more affordable too. So why not buy a bag of lemons, invest in a water filter, and give it a try?

Source: https://www.fix.com/blog/benefits-of-warm-lemon-water/

Using a BOSU Ball for Full-Body Fitness

What in the heck is a BOSU ball, and how do I use it? The BOSU ball is a unique-looking piece of workout equipment that you may have seen at the gym but aren’t sure how to use. Flat on one side with half of a stability ball on the other, it can be used in countless ways to challenge your strength and balance. With the ball side up, you can work your small stabilizer muscles while maintaining a relatively stable platform. Ball-side-down removes that stable platform and forces you to rely even more heavily on your stabilizer muscles and your core. As far as the movements themselves, you can do just about anything on a BOSU ball for a full-body workout.

From your biceps and triceps to your chest and shoulders, the BOSU ball can give you a complete upper-body workout. However, we’re going to focus on a few popular exercise and how to incorporate the BOSU ball in them.

You’ve probably heard of or been doing squats already. After all, they’re one of the best workouts for all the muscles in your lower body. But there are several ways to modify your squat by adding the BOSU. We’ll focus on two. For the first, start with the BOSU ball side up. Step on (carefully!), and practice keeping your balance as you squat until your upper legs are parallel to the floor, then return to a standing position. Make sure your weight doesn’t float to the front of your feet, or you’ll be putting too much pressure on your knees. If you have no problem keeping your balance with the BOSU ball side up, it’s time to flip it over. Put one foot on the flat side of the BOSU along the edge. Carefully lift your other foot to the opposite side, and balance with the ball in the middle. Try to keep the BOSU steady as you squat to parallel and return to a standing position. By flipping the BOSU ball side down, you’ll be working against a platform that moves a full 360 degrees, challenging your balance and strength.

To do lunges with your BOSU, begin with the ball side up. From here, you can either step up onto the BOSU or start on the ball and step down to the floor. With either approach, balance your weight between your back foot’s toes and your front foot’s heel. Lower your back knee toward the floor while your front knee moves toward a 90-degree angle, tracking over your toes.

If you want to hit more of your glutes, a bridge is a great bet! Lie with your back on the floor, and place your feet on the BOSU. If you’re a beginner, start ball side up. If you’re more advanced, flip your BOSU over. With both feet on the BOSU, squeeze your glutes, and press your hips toward the ceiling. Pause at the top, and lower your body back to the floor with control. If you’re ready to take it to the next level, try a single-leg bridge. With one foot on the BOSU and your hips pressed toward the ceiling, raise your other leg. Make sure you don’t swing your leg for leverage. Instead, squeeze your glutes to raise and lower with control. 

 

Who doesn’t want a stronger core? Many of your favorite (or not-so-favorite) ab and core exercises can be replicated and kicked up a notch using the BOSU ball. From the plank to sit-ups and even bicycle crunches, the BOSU adds an extra level of instability to every move.

Let’s start with the plank. The idea behind any plank is to keep your spine in alignment while you engage the muscles in your core, lower body, and upper body. For all the BOSU plank progressions, flip the ball side down. For beginners, start on your knees, and begin the way you would for the beginner BOSU push-up. Now hold it. Even as your body shakes, keep holding. If you want to take it a step further, raise up on your toes while you hold the position. Be careful that the ball doesn’t move side to side! Try to keep it as stable as possible, and don’t forget to breathe. If you’re looking for an even bigger challenge, try doing your plank on a single leg with your other raised. As you complete your circuit, switch legs to make sure you get an even workout.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are just a few of the innumerable exercises that are possible with the BOSU ball. Even if you have no other piece of equipment at your disposal, you’ll be able to challenge every muscle in your body. As with any exercise, safety should be your number one priority. Always consult with a physician or personal trainer before beginning any exercise plan.

Source: https://www.fix.com/blog/get-fit-with-a-bosu-ball/