Do You Know How to Prevent Coronavirus Infection?

Are you terrified because of the novel Coronavirus pandemic? Stop worrying and follow these 7 preventive measures to prevent yourself from COVID-19.

The world is witnessing one of the most dreadful situations in recent memory. The blanket of COVID-19 has engulfed almost every corner of the world and no one is safe. Keeping in mind the famous saying – prevention is better than cure – all of us must pull up our socks and face this challenge. Every little step from you will count in fighting off this pandemic.  There has never been a more apt time to get united and be conscious of our actions. So, let’s take a look at all the steps you, as an individual, can take to fight off COVID-19.

Preventive Measures Against COVID-19

Since COVID-19 is a novel virus, Scientists are working day in and day out to find its cure. Even at the earliest, we have to wait for several months for the cure to reach us. This makes preventive measures all the more important.

Besides, this disease is highly contagious, and if you get infected, you will pass it on to your loved ones who are living with you.

In the same line of thought, it should be noted that once you get infected, it may take up to two weeks for the symptoms to show up. So, it is very much in the realm of possibility that you wouldn’t even know that you are infected. As a result, you will unknowingly spread it to others.

All these variables make COVID-19 extremely dangerous. Enforcing the following measures will drastically reduce your chances of contracting this awful disease.  You will end up keeping yourself as well as your loved ones safe.

So, here are the preventive measures against COVID-19:

Wash Your Hands Frequently

Wash Your Hands Frequently

Washing hands, in general, is a good idea, but it is of paramount importance in the current climate. You need to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds every 3-4 hours if you are working outside. Using anti-bacterial or anti-viral soap is preferred, if possible. Remember to work the lather between your fingers, the cuticles of your fingernails, and wrists as well.

If you stay at home, you don’t have to wash your hands that frequently, but make sure you wash your hands before every meal, and if you are coming from a public place.  However, if you are using a shared item such as a computer or doorknob or calling bell (items that are touched by multiple people in your household as well as by people outside your home), then positively wash your hands afterwards. 

In case of unavailability of soap and water, use a hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol content. Those of you, who still have to go out to work, carry a hand sanitizer with you all the time. While using a sanitizer, please ensure that you rub your hands until they dry.

Avoid Touching Your Face as Much as You Can

Avoid Touching Your Face

Humans touch their face 16-23 times every hour on average when they are awake. Now, we understand that it is not possible to eliminate this habit all of a sudden, especially most of the times you touch your face unknowingly. It almost works as a reflex reaction. But, try and avoid touching your face as less as you can. Let us explain why this is important.

COVID-19 is caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This virus is very powerful, proven by the fact that it can stay alive on hard surfaces for 72 hours.  In other words, the laptop you are using or door knob you are touching may be infected simply because someone else who is suffering from COVID-19 has touched it, let’s say, three days back.

So, when you touch your face after touching these surfaces, you are allowing the virus to enter your body through the gateway of your eyes, nose, and mouth. Thusm you shouldn’t bite your fingernails, rub your eyes, and scratch your face, among others. Avoid these instincts as much as you can.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has clearly stated that COVID-19 is also transmitted through fomites (inanimate objects that carry infection such as utensils, furniture, and clothes, among others) alongside respiratory droplets. So, be sure to follow this measure.

Cover Your Mouth While Sneezing

Cover Your Mouth While Sneezing

You have to be accountable for all your actions, even if you are not infected. As we stated earlier, the signs of this disease are sometimes not even seen in the first two weeks. So, you wouldn’t even know whether you are infected or not.

One such measure that lessens the spread of this virus is when you cover your mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing.  In the previous point, we stated this disease can spread through respiratory droplets. So, when an infected person sneezes or coughs, the surrounding air can carry the disease to the healthy people around him or her. Besides, the droplets can stay on hard surfaces for three days as well.

So, cover your face with a handkerchief or a tissue paper every time you sneeze or cough, even when you are at your home.  If you don’t have a handkerchief or a tissue paper near you, and you are about to sneeze or cough, simply cover your face with the inside of your elbow.

Maintain Social Distancing

Maintain Social Distancing

Along with all the other points, maintain social distancing. We know it’s tough. It’s tough staying at home, not seeing your friends, not being able to hang out, and not being able to go to your multi-gym, among others. But, you have to think long-term. This is for the greater good. For now, working out at home is safer. There are several exercises that you can perform without using any equipment.

If you don’t follow social distancing now, things might get out of control and the longer you avoid social distancing, the longer it will take to control this virus, meaning the longer will be the lockdown.

Therefore, stay at home 24X7 and go out only when it is necessary, such as to buy medicine or groceries. Even when you go out, you need to ensure that there is at least six feet distance between you and the person next to you.

Avoid Eating at Public Places

Avoid Eating at Public Places

The restaurants have been shut down for a reason. This highly contagious disease can spread through the food, dishes, tables, chairs, and washrooms, among others of a restaurant. Therefore, control your urge for outside food and don’t go out to restaurants, bars, coffee shops, cake shops, and other eateries.

You should also avoid getting home deliveries from there as well, just to stay on the safer end of the spectrum. Home-made food is the go-to option now. However, if you have to rely on delivery or takeaway food, order from a clean and hygienic place and pick hot food instead of cold food.

Disinfect Household Items

Disinfect Household Items

Maintain cleanliness in your household. Keep an alcohol-based disinfected spray by your side to clean hard surfaces. Focus on the items that are frequently touched by multiple people such as furniture, doorknobs, calling bells, desks, faucets, sinks, light switches, and kitchen countertops, among others.

Every time you go out to get groceries, disinfect the bag in which you carry your belongings. You can use white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide for cleaning purposes as well.

Eat Immunity-Boosting Foods

Eat Immunity-Boosting Foods

Increase your chance of being safe by including immunity-boosting food items in your meals. Eating healthy during such a precarious time will reward you by keeping you safe.  

Look out for food items that are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals since they will help you in keeping your immune system strong. When you eat food items that have selenium, probiotics zinc, beta-carotene, curcumin, and vitamins C and D in them, you end up providing a protective layer to your body.

Some of the immunity-boosting food items that you can include in your meals are sweet potatoes, yogurt, broccoli, spinach, ginger, garlic, green tea, papaya, turmeric, almonds, watermelon, wheat germs, sunflower seeds, oysters, and poultry, among others.

Take a look at this infographic that tells you everything that you need to do (just like the article) in brief.

COVID-19 Prevention Measures

Final Thoughts

The situation is undoubtedly scary, but we can work through it if all of us make individual contributions in the form of following the aforementioned preventive measures.  Remember, the safety of yourself and your loved ones primarily rest on your hands. So, let us all be responsible and fight this together. Please spread the word and encourage your family members and friends to follow these measures as well.

Before we conclude, there is another piece of information that we must share with you. If you feel sick, do not immediately go to a medical clinic. Overcrowding the medical intuitions will only worsen the situation. Instead, consult your doctor through phone and tell him or her about your symptoms and follow their advice. 

Immunity-boosting Foods That You Need to Include in Your Diet ASAP

Fighting diseases such as cold, cough, fever and even Coronavirus will be much easier when you include these immunity-boosting food items in your diet.

We all have had those days where we felt so sick that we had to cancel an important meeting at work or miss out on our best friend’s birthday party. This situation is especially true when seasonal changes are going on. Of course, we can’t have a hand in controlling the weather, but we can definitely prepare our bodies to face disease-causing microbes. How do we do that, you ask? Well, we do that by planning our diet and including various types of immunity-boosting foods in it. Moreover, with proper diet, we can even prevent the COVID-19 virus from entering into our body and making us sick.

Today, we are going to take a look at the food items you have to indulge in to strengthen your immune system. But, before we do that, let us understand how changing your diet can bring about a whole lot of difference to your health.

How Do Immunity-boosting Foods Help Our Body?

Our bodies are most vulnerable during seasonal changes, whether it is the arrival of the summer or winter. Most of us fall sick while adapting to the changing temperature. Also, disease-causing microorganisms lurk on every imaginable item, whether it is the doorknobs or the keyboard of your computer. Not maintaining proper hygiene such as washing hands before eating or not clipping nails from time to time also infects us, leading us to suffer from cough, cold, fever, and diarrhea, among others.

If you are one of those who think that these are simple, harmless diseases and can be easily treated with medicine, let us tell you where you are going wrong. When you get dependent on medication for a prolonged period, your body loses the ability to naturally heal itself and is in constant need of a foreign object (in this case, your medicines) to conduct its daily functions.

Therefore, precaution is better than cure, and you need to take preventive measures so that these diseases don’t occur in the first place.  As we stated above, a natural way to do this without incurring any side-effects is by simply altering your diet. Don’t worry! We are not asking for some dramatic changes in your diet. We just want you to add some immunity-boosting foods to your existing diet.

These food items are rich in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that strengthen your immune system. The presence of zinc, probiotics, curcumin, selenium, beta-carotene, and vitamins C and D in these foods helps in providing a protective layer to your body. They not only kill the harmful microbes but also decrease inflammation and accelerate the activities of white blood cells so that you live a disease-free life.

Best Immunity Boosting Foods That You Need to Bring Home

Oddly enough, most of the foods that improve the immune system are simple, affordable items that are available throughout the year. These are not magic elixirs! It is very well possible that these food items are lying in your refrigerator, getting ignored by you. Take a look to find out.

Broccoli

Broccoli

When it comes to the question of what to eat to increase the immune system, our first recommendation is broccoli. Rich in vitamins A, C, and E, broccoli is almost like your natural medicines. Their antioxidant properties along with the fact that they are highly fibrous make them the top-most priority of many nutritionists and dietitians.

Make sure you cook them as little as possible so that they retain their natural properties. In fact, we even suggest you have them raw.

Yogurt

Yogurt

Yogurt can be a pretty polarizing food item. You either love them or you absolutely hate them, especially those who are not a fan of dairy products. But whichever side of the fence you stand on, you can’t deny its immunity-boosting power.

When you are hitting the grocery store to buy yogurt, please ensure that you buy the ones that have “live and active cultures” printed on their labels, such as Greek yogurt. Besides, avoid pre-flavored yogurts that come loaded with sugar. Try and consume the plain yogurts instead.  If you have a sweet tooth, just add in honey or some sweet fruits to your yogurt.

Of course, if you are lactose intolerant, you need to ignore yogurt.

Papaya

Papaya

Next up in our list of immunity-boosting foods are papayas. Rich in papain (a digestive enzyme), these fruits have anti-inflammatory effects that are extremely beneficial to your health.

They are also rich in vitamin C, which improves the immune system. Believe it or not, papaya contains 224% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C. Besides, they also contain vitamin B, folate, and potassium, all of which helps in fighting off harmful diseases.

Garlic

Garlic

A mandatory item in almost every cuisine in the world, garlics are not only healthy, but they make our foods delicious. So, it means you will get to increase your immune system while gorging on those yummy dishes. What more can you ask for?

Since garlics contain allicin, a sulfur compound, they help in healing infections, lowering blood pressure, and in slowing down the hardening of arteries.

Ginger

Ginger

Whether it’s decreasing inflammation or taking care of sore throats and even nausea, gingers have been valued since the dawn of time for their multi-beneficial properties.

It has been found that gingers have heating elements in them in the form of gingerol. Besides, they are recommended for people with high cholesterol levels and those who are suffering from chronic pain.

Turmeric

Turmeric

Another anti-inflammatory food item, turmeric helps in treating rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, alongside strengthening your immune system.

The bright yellow color of this spice is due to a high concentration of curcumin, which helps in preventing muscle spasms, and other exercise-induced damages. This means that this is a mandatory food item for all fitness freaks. So, next time you make a curry for your lunch, add in a dash of turmeric in it.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

An average sweet potato contains 120% and 30% of the daily recommended value of vitamins A and C respectively. This makes them one of the popular immunity-boosting food items in the market.

The best part about sweet potatoes is that they are fat and cholesterol-free foods, which is music to the ears of patients who have diabetes and high sugar level since they allow you to enjoy sweetness without facing the ramifications from it.

Wheat Germ

Wheat Germ

The most nutritious portions of wheat grains are the wheat germs, which are the innermost part of their kernels. They are rich in zinc and vitamins B and E, which help your body in combating disease-causing microbes.

Wondering how you should eat them? Just sprinkle them on your morning cereal, afternoon yogurt or dinner dessert. You can also use them in place of breadcrumbs while making any dish that involves meatballs or meatloaves.

Spinach

Spinach

Spinach is rich in antioxidants, beta carotene, and vitamin C, thereby making it a mandatory item in our immunity-boosting foods list. Having spinach frequently increases the chances of your immune system in successfully fighting off infections.

Much like broccoli, cook them as little as possible so that they don’t lose their nutritious properties. Mastering the art of cooking them lightly enhances their vitamin A proportion as well as helps in releasing other beneficial nutrients from oxalic acid that is present in them.

Oysters

Oysters

One of the most underrated food items that people just pass off as a delicacy, oysters are powerhouses that contain a whole bunch of important vitamins and minerals that help improve the immune system.

They contain 190%, 45%, and 20% of the daily recommended value of selenium, iron, and vitamin C respectively. This seafood also contains decent proportions of vitamin A and zinc. So, have them raw or cook them in a stew or have them scalloped, whichever you want.

Poultry

Poultry

Poultry items such as chicken and turkey have a high content of vitamin B-6 in them that plays a major role in all the chemical reactions that take place in your body. They also help in generating new red blood cells.

Having chicken in stock or broth form is extremely healthy since chicken bones are rich in chondroitin and gelatine that help in fast healing.

Green Tea

Green Tea

Green tea contains various types of antioxidants such as flavonoids and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that helps increase the immune system. We recommend green tea over black tea because the fermentation process of the latter destroys a lot of the ECGC.

Besides, green tea is rich in the amino acid L-theanine that helps in the production of germ-fighting compounds in your T-cells.

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are great immunity-boosting foods since they contain magnesium, phosphorous, and vitamins E and B-6. They help in regulating our immune system, thereby keeping off disease-causing germs away.

Now, we understand that sunflower seeds are a bit difficult to get hold of in comparison to the other food items listed here, but we are sure you can buy them online if the nearby grocery store doesn’t keep them.

Watermelon

Watermelon

Summer afternoons are incomplete without a healthy slice of watermelon. These juicy fruits contain potassium, glutathione, and vitamins A, B-6, and C, all of which help improve your immune system.

Since they are water-based foods, they help you in staying hydrated in those scorching summer heats.

Almonds

Almonds

Much like watermelon, you can’t make a diet chart without throwing in some nuts in it. When it comes to boosting your immune system, no nut can outperform almonds.

Almonds have a high presence of vitamin E, which help increase your immune system.  Many food items contain vitamin E, but you can’t take in the benefits from them since it is a fat-soluble vitamin that requires fat to be absorbed. Almonds are rich in healthy fats, which mean they will help you in absorbing the much-needed vitamin E.

Final Thoughts

You need to remember that just one single immunity-boosting food won’t suffice. You need to have a combination of these aforementioned food items.  We have picked these items in consultation with our in-house nutritionists and dietitians because we believe in dishing out only the information that comes straight from the expert’s mouth.  Being one of the best multi-gyms in the country, our goal is to improve the overall health of our clients and to do that, we take in all the necessary professional help. So, eat healthily, stay hydrated, and improve your immune system.

A Constructive Guide to the Most Beneficial Exercises for Arthritis

Are you suffering from pain in your joints and have difficulty moving around? Take a look at these exercises for arthritis that can help.

Affecting over millions and millions of people worldwide, arthritis is a severe health disorder that affects your joints. People with this condition suffer excruciating pain, stiffness swelling and difficulty in movement. In some cases, other organs are also affected.

It is essentially the inflammation of your joints. Physical therapy, medications and lifestyle changes can help you recover from it. But exercises for arthritis can accelerate the process of your recovery to a great extent and that is what we are going to discuss today.  

The Most Effective Exercises for Arthritis

Physical exercises not only help you prevent stiff joints but also improve your endurance, builds muscles and benefits your bones, heart, and mood. When it comes to arthritis, you need to take it easy and be careful about which exercise to pick.

The following exercises are recommended for arthritis patients since they help in improving your flexibility and range of motion. However, it is of utmost importance that you talk to your doctor and/or physical therapist before performing these exercises as the degree of arthritis and the ability to perform physical exercises vary from person to person.

Walking

Walking

Yes, you heard that right! Walking is indeed an exercise and can be performed by almost everyone. This is a perfect gateway to the exercises for arthritis pain. Walking is an aerobic and bone-strengthening activity and can be performed anywhere without the assistance of any equipment or special training.

It can help you maintain a healthy weight, which would, in turn, minimalize the stress on your joints. Besides, your bone and heart will live healthily if you walk regularly.

Remember to start slow. You can increase your pace and distances eventually over time. There is no need to rush it up. We recommend you to go at a moderate-to-hard intensity level three to five days a week. A 30-minute walking session will suffice in providing you with the much-needed relief from the pain of arthritis. If a 30-minute is too much for you, then you can always start with a 10-minute session.

Cycling

Cycling - Exercises for Arthritis

Next up on our list of the best exercises for arthritis pain is cycling. This aerobic exercise helps in getting your heart pumping which is very important since arthritis puts you at a greater risk of cardiovascular diseases.

As cycling is a low-impact exercise, it decreases the stress on your weight-bearing joints such as your hips, knees, and feet. Moreover, it also helps in lubricating your joints, which, in turn, help in reducing stiffness and pain.

Now, we understand that there might be some danger involved with cycling as it entails the risk of falling off. So, we suggest you go for a stationary bike.  These bikes are easier on your hips and lower back since they have large, chair-like seats which allow you to sit back into the frame in a more reclined and comfortable position.  It is also easy to get on and off on these bikes as they are lower to the ground.

Swimming

Swimming

There’s nothing like hitting the pool to relax your joints and stretch your muscles. If you can’t swim, then you can even opt for water walking or water aerobics class in a shallow pool.

It has been seen in a study by the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation that water-based exercises help improves joints in women more when compared to land-based aerobic activities. Moreover, swimming also helps in boosting your mood, controlling your weight and in improving your sleep.

In a 4-feet pool, you can try walking from one side to another at a brisk pace. You may also use an underwater treadmill for your water-based exercises.  The buoyancy of the water provides relief to the pain in your joints.  We also recommend you to use a water jogging belt while performing any water-based exercise since it will help you stay suspended above the pool. As a result, you would be able to move around without putting any pressure on your hips, knees or ankles.

Stretching

Stretching - Exercises for Arthritis

Any type of stretching is a great exercise for arthritis pain.  This is basically an umbrella term for all free-hand stretching exercises. Stretching helps you in reducing joint inflammation and enhancing your overall flexibility. Furthermore, it is also great for maintaining mobility and movement.

You can stretch by even sitting on your chair. In order to include a variation to your stretching exercises, you can use a stretch-out strap which is essentially a nylon strap with built-in loops for your hands and legs.

For instance, you can place the ball of one of your feet through a loop and follow it up by grasping both the ends of the strap with your hands. Next, you need to straighten your leg. Gently, raise your leg and slowly pull on the straps.

You can partake in Yoga lessons since they are invariably based on stretching. In addition, Yoga would help in putting pressure on your joints and in increasing the internal heat, which would, in turn, be of great relief to people suffering from arthritis.

Pilates

Pilates

Pilates is extremely popular but few know how beneficial it is for arthritis patients. Since Pilates gives you better control over your muscles and in strengthening them, it is highly recommended by physical therapists.

To put it simply, Pilates is low-impact workouts that help in putting pressure on your joints and hips.  Moreover, it is also known for helping you with pain management and in coping with the symptoms of arthritis.

Pilates include various balancing exercises such as standing one foot or walking backwards. It helps in boosting your balance and in avoiding falls. Feel free to modify certain postures to minimize the stress on the joints with the help of your physical trainer. You can even integrate props in your Pilates routine.

Zumba

Zumba - Exercises for Arthritis

Counted among the most fun exercises for arthritis pain, Zumba will lift your spirits in no time. This Latin American exercise fitness regime is an out-and-out cardio and aerobic workout that provides huge calorie consumption. On top of that, this can be performed by anyone irrespective of their age.

It increases good cholesterol, decreases bad cholesterol, reduces blood pressure and lowers the risk of heart diseases. The ability of Zumba to burn calories without jarring your joints is what makes it a universal favourite.

Don’t overexert your body if you are getting into Zumba for the first time. Just ease into it. Let your trainer train you separately if required. Remember, when you are doing Zumba, you are using every muscle in your body. So, naturally, you don’t want to hurt yourself by overdoing it. Taking two classes every week will suffice in learning the choreography.

Tai Chi

Tai Chi - Exercises for Arthritis

Next up on our list of exercises for arthritis pain is Tai Chi. You would often find people who are suffering from arthritis saying that their “knees are giving out”. This is because arthritis severely affects your joints and the surrounding muscles. As such, it results in loss of position awareness, impaired coordination, and a higher risk of falling and lack of balance.

This is where Tai Chi comes in. It is an ancient internal Chinese martial art that is practised for both health benefits and defence. It has recently gained huge popularity worldwide, and for all the right reasons.

Now, before you freak out by thinking that it is a martial art which means it must be difficult to learn, let us tell you that Tai Chi involves slow and soft movements that are very easy to learn and anybody can master them. It helps in relaxing your body and stimulating blood circulation. Whether its heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease of arthritis, it has shown its implications in multiple diseases.

We must warn you that when you are in a Pilates class, don’t shy away from sticking to your own pace instead of following others. Speak to your physical trainer and inform him or her about the status of your arthritis and introduce modifications in your routine under their guidance.

Suspension Training

Suspension training - Exercises for Arthritis

Now, this is one of the more challenging exercises for arthritis pain. Suspension training is not for everyone and is suited for those arthritis patients who were willing and capable of performing a challenging core workout. It must be noted that this should be performed under trained supervision in a controlled environment. People with serious ankle or wrist issues must avoid it.

It can be performed during the initial stages of arthritis to help it from becoming more severe. When you are doing suspension training, you are leveraging your body weight from straps that hang from an anchor point.  You need to put your legs in the stirrups and hold your body up with your arms. You can even choose to rest flat on your forearms.

It will help you in developing core body strength and in stabilizing your joints and muscles. It also reduces the chances of you incurring any injury.  

Summary

Arthritis is a serious health concern and you must do everything in your power to put yourself in an advantageous position. The aforementioned exercises for arthritis pain will help you recover healthily and naturally. So, contact your doctor and physical trainer today and help yourself out from this dreadful disease.  

How to Start Exercising – A Beginner’s Guide

One of the biggest concerns for beginners is that they don’t know how to start exercising. Thus, we bring before you this effective plan.

It goes without saying that regular exercising can turn your life around for good. The positive effect that physical exercises can have on your body and over well-being is unparalleled. Regular exercising helps in maintaining muscle mass, body weight, energy level, and reducing the risk of contracting chronic diseases. It also helps in enhancing your mood, boosting your mental health, improving your sleep patterns and in enhancing your sex life.  

All of us are well acquainted with the benefits of exercise and have given working out a thought at various points of our lives. But, for some reason or the other, many fail to either start exercising or continue the pattern of exercising after starting strong.

The basic idea is to find the rhythm and to flow with it. It would take a lot of determination from your end to stick to a long-term routine. If you are one of those who are wondering how to start exercising but haven’t got a clue as to how to do it, we are here to help you out through our comprehensive guide on the same. So, stick around.

The Preliminary Stages of Exercising

Guide to how to start exercising

The first order of business before you begin your exercise regime is to do a thorough health check-up. We recommend you go for a physical medical examination so that if there are any health problems, that can be detected at an early stage and you can plan your workout routine in a much better fashion.

This health check-up is especially required for people aged over 45. You should have an awareness of how your body is functioning. You would be able to tailor your workout routine in consultation with your doctor and physical trainer based on the results on the physical examination. Knowing the limitations of your body is extremely important. There is a difference between pushing yourself to the limits and putting your life in jeopardy and you must know where to draw the line.

Once you are done with this, you can follow it up by going through these following stages:

Identifying the Types of Exercises

How to start exercising - A Beginners guide

Exercise is an umbrella term and includes various types of routines. You can choose to perform a single or you can choose to mix it up by taking an ingredient from several types. This is regarded among the many essential workout tips for beginners which would help you categorise your exercise regime. Some of the most popular and beneficial forms of exercises for you to choose from are as follows:

Strength-based Exercise

Evident by its name, these exercises help increase strength and muscle power. Examples would include weight lifting, plyometrics, resistance training and sprinting.

Balance-based Exercise

These exercises enhance your mobility and stability while also improving your overall body coordination. In addition, they also improve your athletic performances and help you focus. Pilates, flamingo stands, tightrope walk, bean bag balance, and Tai Chi are some of the common examples of these exercises.

Flexibility-based Exercise

Flexibility-based exercises help in muscles recovery and in improving your range of motion while also protecting you from potential injuries. Yoga, chest mobiliser, cat stretch, and pal squeeze are some of the prime examples of flexibility-based exercises.

Callisthenics

Callisthenics refers to basic body movements that are done without the help of gym equipment. These exercises have a mild aerobic pace to them. Push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, and lunges are some common examples of callisthenics.

Aerobic Exercise

Stretching and strength-based training done over a rhythmic pattern comprises aerobic exercises. They improve your muscular strength, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness.  Examples include dancing, running, jogging, and swimming, among others.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

This training involves exercises that are performed over repetitions of short bursts of high-intensity level followed by a low-intensity level of exercise or rest periods.

Boot Camps

These are high-intensity circuits that are time-based. They usually combine resistance and aerobic exercises.

While choosing your workout regime, please remember that what works for someone else may or may not work for you. This is why you need to pick up the workout regime that best suits your needs and capabilities.

Deciding How Much Exercise You Want to Do

Exercise Guide

Among the many gym tips for beginners that you will learn here, one is that you need to have minimal expectations at the start. You can’t expect that you will be able to workout like an Olympic athlete on day one.

As per the American College of Sports Medicine, one should perform a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate workout every week. Now, how you want to divide these 150 minutes among the days of the week is dependent on you. For example, you can perform a 30-minute routine for five days a week, or you can go for a 25-minute routine for six days a week.

In fact, you can also choose to package these 150 minutes into one or two training sessions every week instead of spreading it throughout the week. The basic formula is to start slow and steadily increase the intensity as you build your fitness level up.

Taking one day off from workout every week is considered to be a healthy habit. Allowing your body to recover from the exercises is extremely important in the form of adequate rest. When you don’t rest, you run the risk of incurring injuries such as stress fractures and muscle strains that often result from OTS (Over Training Syndrome).

Furthermore, if you exercise too much, you can end up weakening your immune system and increase the risk of infection and hormonal imbalances. It will also cause chronic fatigue and will depress your mood.

Setting up Realistic Fitness Goals

Exercising guide

The next stage in how to start exercising comes the setting up of realistic goals. You need to be pragmatic in your approach. Reaching for the stars at the beginning is far from ideal.

Try to create a plan that involved attainable steps and goals.  Have a gradual increase in pace in your plan. For instance, if you want to finish a five-mile run, then you can begin by creating a plan that starts with shorter runs. Slowly and steadily increase the distance of your run until you are able to run five miles in a single go.

Please remember that when you start with small goals, you will not only increase the chance of success, but you will also be able to stay motivated throughout.

We stress upon the term realistic because it is one thing starting a workout regime and it is another thing sticking to it. So, the plan that you make must be achievable enough.  It should become part of your habit. Create a plan that you will be able to live up over a period of time. Remember, it is not a one-time thing. You need to be able to commit to it. Therefore, plan accordingly.

To help you out, here is an example of a regime that will come in handy for those who wants to learn how to start exercising.

Workout Regime

Monday – Perform a 30-minute moderate-pace brisk walk or jog.

Tuesday – Take rest

Wednesday – Jog for ten minutes. Next, perform three sets of ten lunges for each foot, ten pull-ups, and ten sit-ups. Follow this up by performing ten jumping jacks, ten air squats and ten chair dips. Be sure to rest for a minute or two between each exercise.

Thursday – Take rest

Friday – 30-minute Spinning class or Zumba

Saturday – Take rest

Sunday – Go for a long walk of 40 minutes

Feel free to modify the aforementioned plan to suit your requirements. This is just a sample for those who are seeking help while learning how to start exercising. This is not a hard and fast rule.

Workout Tips for Beginners

Learning how to start exercising

Now, to help you further learn how to start exercising, here are some gym tips for beginners:

  • Have a balanced diet. If you want to sustain healthy energy levels you need to include all food groups in your diet. Carbs are especially important in this regard as they help in fueling your muscles before exercises. Include protein since it will help in muscles recovery, tissue repair and building muscles mass. Finally, include healthy fats as that will make your energy last longer.
  • Stay hydrated. This is crucial for maintaining optimal performances.
  • Warm-up your body before exercising. It will help you in avoiding injuries and improving your overall athletic performance.
  •  Listen to your body. You are not Hercules and there is no shame in having limitations. A wise person is aware of his or her body and knows when to stop.

Summary

The most important element in your quest of how to start exercising is that you need to formulate a plan that will be realistic enough for you to be able to achieve. It will be challenging at first but when you have a real objective, you will be able to maintain it in the long run.

Try to include a variety in your workout regime so that you never get bored of it. Start slow, and build up your pace eventually. In addition, keep track of your progress. It will help you in mapping out how far you have come. Include rest days in your routine and try and stick to your routine. If you do it regularly for a few days, it will eventually become your habit.

The Best Upper Body Workouts that You Need to Try Today

If you want to boost up and strengthen your upper body, then you need to take a look at our list of the best upper body workouts now.

Chest, shoulders, back, and arms are some of the primary areas that people come to the gym to work upon. But what do all of them have in common? Together, they constitute your upper body. People try numerous techniques and methods to get the upper body of their dream. After all, your upper body is what gets noticed most by others. Besides, having a strong upper body would enable you to carry out most of the strength-based tasks in your everyday life.   

So, if you are one of those who are looking for strengthening their upper body, we have got good news for you that you have reached the right place. We are going to list up some of the most highly effective upper body workouts that are going to drastically boost up the strength in and around the said area.

Let us acquaint you with the best upper body workout regime that you need to get yourself into.

Best Upper Body Workouts for You

While making this list, we have tried to make it as diverse and multi-dimensional as possible. This is why we have put together different types of upper body workouts so that you never get bored. It should also be noted that these aren’t exclusively for men. People of any gender can perform them to enhance their upper body.

So, without any further ado, let us find out about them.

Pull-Up

Pull-ups

Probably the most effective and popular upper body workout exercise that you can perform is the pull-ups. It is essentially a perfect alternative to weight lifting. It targets your shoulders, arms, and back.

In order to perform this upper body workout, you need to find a pull-up bar and hold on to it in an overhand grip. Make sure that your hands are at shoulder-width apart. Proceed to hang your body straight below the bar. Stay in this position for one or two seconds before lowering yourself down to the starting position.

Perform a minimum of ten pull-ups with three sets. Try to take a 15-second break between each set. If you want to raise the difficulty level even further, then you need to change your hand placement.  Remember, the closer you place your hands on the bar, the harder it will be for you to pull yourself up.   

You can also add a weight belt around your waist in order to elevate the difficulty level even further. Keep your hands further apart from each other. This would help in building the upper lateral muscles. Besides, it will add more width to the back. The closer you keep your hands, the more emphasize your bicep muscles would get.

Dumbbell Shrug

Dumbbell Shrug

Dumbbell shrug is an extremely personalized upper body exercise since it allows you to control the weight you want to challenge yourself with. A great aspect of this exercise is that you can perform it anywhere as it only requires dumbbells.  You can do it in the gym, home, or even in a park.

We recommend you to start with lower dumbbell weight and gradually shift to heavier weights depending on your comfort level.  This multi-beneficiary exercise works your shoulders, arms, back, and chest.

To perform this workout for upper body, you need to start by standing tall. Hold the dumbbells at your sides with the palms facing each other. Next, you need to bend yourself slightly in a squat position so that the dumbbells are at the same level as your knees.

Proceed to propel yourself upward in an explosive motion. Next, you need to shrug your shoulders and back hard at the top. You then have to get back to the starting position to finish your reps.

Perform ten reps and three sets with light-weight dumbbells. Once you level up, you can perform eight reps per set. Don’t forget to take a break of 15-30 seconds between each set.

Chin Up

Chin-up

Next up on our list of workouts for upper body is the chin up. This is a great exercise that you can practice on a low impact day to give yourself a break from weights. It focuses on your shoulders, back, chest, and arms.

To do this, you need to grab a chin bar first with an underhand grip. Keep your hands shoulder-width apart from each other. Try and engage your core and pull yourself up by using your arm strength. Do it until your chin is over the bar. Next, you need to ensure that your elbows are tucked to your sides during the entire duration of the exercise.

When you reach the top, pause for a bit and lower yourself down until your arms become straight again. Keep doing this at least eight times per set for a total of three sets. Don’t forget to take a break of 15-25 seconds between each set. You can angle the upper body back while pulling your body up to the bar if you want to feel your lower lateral muscles. This under hand grip helps in putting more emphasis on the lower lateral muscles.

You can add to the difficulty level of this exercise by changing the placement of your hand and putting them closer to each other. Trying a waist belt also elevates the level of difficulty.

Dips

Dips

Your upper body workout regime would be incomplete without dips. This might be difficult to perform at home since you need a dip station. However, weight bench or bars or even sturdy chairs can also be used for the same.

If you want to use a chair or bench, then sit with your back to the bench or chair. Proceed to grab the edge with both of your hands. Keep your palms on the top of it while your fingers at the bottom.

Make sure your legs are together and your backside is at the same level as that of your bench or chair. Stop before your butt hits the floor while performing this exercise for your upper body. Gently lower yourself down until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle. Wait for a second or two and get back to the starting position and repeat. Perform 10-15 reps per sets and try to do at least three sets. Feel free to take a break of 30-40 seconds between each set.

In order to introduce a variation in the exercise, you can choose a seated dip machine. To do this, you need to increase the weight you are using so that triceps are taken care of.  However, if boosting the chest is your motive, then you need to keep your elbows pointed out to the sides. You then have to bend forwards at the waist rather than keeping your upper body straight.

Barbell Biceps Curl

Barbell biceps curl

The barbell biceps curl is an upper body workout that focuses on your shoulders, arms and back. All you need to perform it is a barbell with the heaviest weight that you can muster to complete your sets.

Keep your legs hip-width apart from each other. Hold on to a barbell with your palms facing up. Raise the barbell by using a slow and steady motion until the muscles of your biceps are fully contracted. Be sure to start at your thighs. Stay in this position for a second before you get down to the starting position.

Repeat this for 10-12 reps and perform at least three sets of this exercise. Be sure to take a break of 15-40 seconds between each set. For achieving the best results, you can keep your elbows glued to your sides. Also, try to hold your chest as high as you can during the entire tenure of the exercise.  This will ensure that a lot of emphasis is put on your biceps and that your shoulders muscles are out of the movement.  

Diamond Press Up

Diamond press up

Last but not least on our list of the best upper body workout exercise is the diamond press up. Now, don’t worry! This is not as fancy as it sounds and you can perform it basically anywhere. It focuses on your arms, shoulders and back. You can say that this is a more challenging version of a push-up.

To perform this exercise, you need to start with your hands and toes on the ground or mat. Try to align your body as straight from your shoulders to toes as possible. Your arms need to be straight as well. Both of your hands need to be close enough together so that you are able to form a diamond shape with your index fingers and thumbs.

Be sure to engage your core and keep your hips up so that your back stays straight. Slowly, lower yourself down towards the ground, bending at your elbow.  Until you have reached the starting position, keep pushing up from the ground. Try to perform ten reps and do a minimum of three sets.

Feel free to take 30 seconds breaks between each set. In order to elevate the difficulty level of the exercise, you can point the elbows out to put more stress on your triceps.

Summary

Your upper body is what gets the most attention after your face. So, be sure to work hard on it. However, just to be clear, it is not only for aesthetic purposes only. You need to work on your upper body to increase its core strength. The aforementioned upper body workout regime will help you achieve that. As you see, most of them can be performed at the comfort of your home and don’t require too many equipment. So, go out there and bring out the Hercules in you!

9 Best Core Exercises You Can Do at Home

Take a look into the most effective core exercises that you can try at the comfort of your home to boost your metabolism and inner strength.

Whether you play sports or perform day-to-day tasks, you need to use your core muscles to go about your daily business. Core muscles are there to spare your spine from too much load and also, they help you transfer force from your upper body to the lower and vice versa.

Contrary to what a large share of people believes, your core not only just consists of the abdominal muscles, but it also includes the muscles around your pelvis and in your back.

Your core consists of:

  • Erector Spinae: It is a back muscle that helps you stand straight after you bend over
  • Oblique: Your external oblique and internal oblique enable you to bend or rotate your trunk
  • Rectus Abdominis: The rectus abdominis, also referred to as “six-pack” muscle is there to help you bend forward
  • Multifidus: This muscle in your back plays a vital role in stabilizing the joints in your spine
  • Transverse Abdominis: Your transverse abdominis muscle helps you move your trunk. It also stabilizes your vertebral column

When you keep your core muscles strong and flexible, they will support your spine and stabilize your body properly. To keep them strong and also to enhance your fitness, you should perform core exercises at home.

But, which exercises should you choose? To know the answer, please keep on reading this article. Here, you will find more about the best core-strengthening workouts for almost all fitness levels.

Best Core Exercises for Beginners

If you have not performed workouts for a long time or if you are new in it, you may start with the following moves to strengthen your core muscles.

1. Crunch

Crunch

When it comes to choosing core strengthening exercises for beginners, most fitness experts usually recommend Crunches, the classic ones.  This exercise works well for those, who have back pain.

How to Do It?

  • Lie down on the floor and bend your knees
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor
  • Cross both your hands across your chest
  • Lift your upper back while keeping your pelvis, lower back and feet attached with the ground (While lifting your upper back, you should keep your core tight)
  • Lower your upper back slowly and go back to the starting position
  • Repeat it

Benefits

  1. Strengthen your core muscles
  2. Increase the flexibility and mobility of your core muscles
  3. Improve your posture

If you are a beginner or if you find any problem while following the mentioned steps, you may seek help from trainers who have years of experience. One of the ways to find the right trainer is to visit a well-recognized gym. Starmark Fitness Studio, a popular gym in Kolkata, is the home of several certified trainers. If you find it necessary, you may visit this gym and consult experienced fitness experts there.

2. Bridge

Bridge

Try Bridge to improve the strength of your core muscle and several other small muscles. This exercise can also help you tone your thighs and butt.

How to Do It?

  • Lie flat on the floor and bend your knees
  • Keep your feet on the floor like you did while performing Crunch exercise
  • Keep both your hands at your side
  • Stiffen your glutes and core
  • Lift your hips and stop when your hips are aligned with your shoulders and knees
  • Hold this position at least for 30 seconds
  • Get back to the starting position and do it again

Benefits

  1. Strengthen your hamstrings (thighs) and gluteus muscles (butt)
  2. Enhance your core stability
  3. Strengthen your abdominal muscles and other muscles of your hip and lower back

3. Plank

Plank

Plank that is a full-body exercise is often considered one of the most effective core workouts at home. This exercise involves maintaining the same position as of a Push-Up (the basic one) for a long time.

How to Do It?

  • To maintain a Plank position, you need to keep your face down with your toes and forearms on the floor
  • Draw your navel toward the spine and thus engage your abdominal muscles. Stiffen your torso and keep it straight (Your body should be in a straight line)
  • Keep your shoulders down
  • Hold this position at least for 10 seconds

Once you start finding this move less difficult, you may increase this time limit up to 60 seconds.

Benefits

  • Strengthen your core
  • Improve your posture
  • Help your core reduce stress on your joints

Intermediate-Level Moves

As you start finding the above-mentioned moves simple, you may try the intermediate moves, discussed in the below section with their benefits. Quickly have a close look at them now.

4. Mountain Climber

Mountain Climber

Fitness experts hardly exclude Mountain Climbers when it comes to making a list of core exercises at home. Yes, this is one of the major core-strengthening moves that comes with several health benefits. To know more about its steps and benefits, please keep on reading.

How to Do It?

  • Get into a plank position which means you have to keep your face down and keep your toes and forearms on the floor
  • Position your hands such a way so that they should remain shoulder-width apart
  • Pull your right knee toward your chest as far as possible
  • Pull out the right knee and do the same with your left knee. This is how; you need to switch your legs
  • Put your hips down and alternate inhaling and exhaling while switching your legs

Benefits

  1. Help you build your cardio endurance
  2. Improve your core strength

Performing Mountain Climbers is almost like having a total-body workout with only one exercise.

5. Warrior Crunch

Warrior Crunch

This Crunch variation is absolutely the right option for them, who have become used to with the simple Crunch move. It works your lower body and core including your glutes, thighs, and quads.

How to Do It?

  • Stand and keep your feet wider than your shoulder width
  • Keep your toes outward and put both your hands behind your head
  • Keep your chest open
  • Stiffen your glutes and core
  • Bend your knees and stop when they are paralleled to the floor
  • Move your right elbow and put it close to your right thigh. While doing this, you should bend your torso to the right side
  • Do the same with your right elbow
  • Repeat it at least for 8 times

Benefits

  1. Strengthen your core muscles and lower body muscles
  2. Improve your flexibility and mobility

6. Bird Dog

Bird Dog

The Bird Dog, one of the best core workouts at home, engages both your back and abdominal muscles. This core strengthening move also challenges your balance, coordination, and stability.

How to Do It?

  • Begin on all fours with hands below your shoulders and knees under your hips
  • Raise and straighten your right leg and keep it to your hip level. While following this step, you need to raise and extend your left hand to your shoulder level. Keep your palm down and hold this position
  • Repeat the same step with your right arm and left leg
  • Repeat it for 8 to 12 times

Benefits

  1. Improve your stability
  2. Help you achieve a neutral spine
  3. Strengthen your hips, core and back muscles
  4. Relieve lower back pain

Advanced Level Core Workouts at Home

Once you master intermediate moves, you may get a step ahead. Try the advanced core exercises and challenge yourself. These moves will help you improve your core strength further by engaging muscles in more effective ways.

7. Side Plank with Rotation

Side Plank with Rotation

It is an advanced version of the simple plank. This move will help you strengthen your shoulders, arms, and obliques.

How to Do It?

  • Lie on the right side and keep your forearm on the floor. Lift your hips and glutes off the floor. Make sure, your right shoulder and feet are in a straight line
  • Stiffen your core
  • Lift your left arm
  • Rotate your torso and keep it close to the floor
  • Keep your left arm under your body
  • Rotate your torso again and raise your left arm up and thus, get back to the starting position
  • Repeat it for 12 times and do the same with your left side and right arm

Benefits

  1. Activate your deep abdominal muscles
  2. Improve your core strength
  3. Shrink and tighten your waistline
  4. Improve your balance

8. Bicycle Crunch

Bicycle Crunch

Your list of core exercises at home will remain incomplete if you do not include the Bicycle Crunch move. With this classic exercise, you can strengthen your abs and workout your core muscles.

How to Do It?

  • Lie on the floor. Your lower back should be attached with the ground
  • Raise your head and shoulders slightly
  • Keep your hands behind your head
  • Raise your right leg off the floor and extend it slowly
  • Lift your left leg, bend your left knee and pull it toward your chest
  • Bring your right elbow toward your left knee. But, make sure they do not touch each other
  • Lower your right elbow and left leg at the same time and repeat the same movement with your left elbow and right knee
  • Repeat it for 10 to 12 times

Benefits

  1. Activate your obliques
  2. Strengthen your core
  3. Develop your abdominal muscles

9. Elbow to Knee Bird Dog

Elbow to Knee Bird Dog

This variation of the simple bird dog can improve your core mobility in the best possible way. To learn the steps of Elbow to knee Bird Log, please dive into the “How to Do It” section.

How to Do it?

  • Begin on all fours with your hands under your shoulders
  • Position yourself in such a way so that your hips remain over your knees
  • Keep your neck, head and back straight. Stiffen your core
  • Raise and extend your left hand and keep it to your shoulder level. Make sure your palm is down
  • Raise and straighten your right leg while extending your left hand
  • Pull your right knee and left elbow closer to each other
  • Get back to the starting position and do it for 12 times
  • Repeat the same movements with your left leg and right hand

Benefits

  1. Increase your muscular endurance and strength
  2. Improve your stability
  3. Strengthen your core

Elbow to Knee Bird Dog is quite useful when it comes to working on your spinal alignment

Final Thoughts

Whether you want to improve your core strength or increase your mobility and flexibility, you can get the best benefits out of these best core exercises at home. But remember, you will get the best benefits only when you follow the right steps. So, obey all the instructions, given by your trainer and follow the right steps to avoid injuries.