Thursday December 14, 2017

Work It Out : Follow These 8 Easy Steps Before and After your Gym Workout Routine for Better Results

Here are a few steps that can help you maximize the benefits of a good work out!

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Exercise alone is not enough to keep you in shape. You will have to do a few more extra things before and after your workout to stay fit! Pixabay

New Delhi, October 16, 2017 : Maybe you have just begun working out at a gym, or maybe you have been an active gym member for months. Maybe you have recently lost a lot of weight, or you may have bulked up and gained fuller body proportions. Whatever it may be, the credit for your fit and fabulous avatar is always given to the time you spend working out and exercising- and that’s where we are wrong.

While work out at the gym is crucial, it is not the only trick at work that makes you look your best! 

Your workout does not end with your last exercise or the last rep. Instead, it had already begun even before you entered the gym, and a complete workout lasts beyond all that you do at the gym.

Exercise alone is not enough to keep you in shape. The body demands proper rest and nutrition to be able to perform better at the gym and maximize benefits. For that, there are a few things that must be done before and after your gym workout.

Here are a few steps that can help you maximize the benefits of a good work out! Follow our best pre workout and post workout tips to maximize and experience the benefits of working out like never before.

PRE-WORKOUT TIPS

1. Don’t Compromise On The Sleep

After strenuous hours at the gym, who wouldn’t want to sleep? A sound sleep is key to being rewarded for the controlled diet and fitness efforts. It is one of the most important components of a healthy workout. When you sleep, your body is at complete rest. This allows your muscles to relax, recover and prepare for another day of workout at the gym.

According to a research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, it was proven that insufficient sleep – less than seven hours of sleep every night- can reduce and completely undo the benefits of dieting and workout.

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Being well rested not only energizes the body to exercise in the gym, but it also keeps the hunger hormones under check. Pixabay

But a common question is, do you need to sleep more when you exercise? 

The answer is a big yes.

After workout, when bodies receive adequate rest, they tend to lose half of the weight of body fat.

Being well rested not only energizes the body to exercise in the gym, but it also keeps the hunger hormones under check, thus saving you from consuming unnecessary food. This is because when we don’t sleep enough, the cortisol levels in our body rise, which activates regions in our brain that make us crave food.

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Brazilian researchers have previously proved that inadequate sleep hampers the body’s ability to make muscles, causes muscle loss and can also lead to an increased chance of sustaining injuries.

2. Consume Pre-workout Snacks

A simple mantra should be to not keep yourself starving, but also not make yourself feel full. Food means energy; if your body lacks basic energy, pulling yourself from the bed and walking all the way to the gym can be a hard, long walk.

While a full stomach will impede a successful workout, studies suggest that one can benefit from better results by consuming the right pre workout food. Lean proteins and carbohydrate rich foods make for the best pre-workout food.

Health experts suggest consuming low-fat pre workout food – these can include Greek yoghurt, fish, sweet potato and beans.

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Do not ignore a healthy pre-workout snack. Pixabay

3. Keep Yourself Hydrated

Working out is synonymous with sweating profusely. Hence, you must make sure you are well-hydrated as the body is losing water. Proper hydration levels also ensure required energy levels for the body for a successful workout.

Make sure you are sipping water before, in the middle of, and after your workout.

Although there is no standard for the quantity of water required, but you must aim to consume water worth half of your body weight in ounces every day.  Experts suggest drinking two to three cups of water a few hours before working out, in order to maintain hydration levels during workout.

4. Prepare Your Body With A Warm-Up

Would you prefer if somebody just pushed you off your bed, in an attempt to wake you up? You might get hurt and would be jostled, wouldn’t you?

Well, that is what a workout without warm up exercises feels like to the body.

Workout without a warm-up session is a complete no no.

workout
It is best to begin your gym workout with a dynamic warm-up routine. Pixabay

Warm-up gradually increases the heart rate and blood circulation; this loosens the joints and increases the blood supply to the muscles thus, preparing them for strenuous physical activity and also helping them prevent injuries.

The warm-up session is also a good opportunity to help prepare yourself mentally for a gym workout.

ALSO READ 7 ways to Stay Healthy during this Festive Season: Here is a List!

POST WORKOUT TIPS

 

5. Cool Down and Stretch

Your body is continuously in motion while you are working out in the gym. After you are done with the exercises, abruptly bringing the body to rest will do more harm than benefit. Stretching proves a healthy option in such a scenario.

Stretching exercises are aimed to gradually bring the body to rest.

Stretching eases and primarily benefits the pumped muscles, and helps the nervous system relax and recover. It decreases muscle soreness and helps accelerate the recovery process.

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Stretching exercises are important. Period. Pixabay

6. Re-hydrate Your Body

As you work out and burn calories, the body sweats to cool itself down. If you do not hydrate yourself, you will end up losing unhealthy amounts of water from your body in the form of sweat and urine.

Proper hydration keeps the body temperature under check, and lubricates the joints, which further prevents injury.

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You must keep yourself well-hydrated at all times. Pixabay

7. Refuel Your Body With A Post-Workout Snack

When you work out, you do not only burn calories and lose carbohydrates, but also tear and work (sometimes over work) your muscles. Hence, it is important to repair the torn muscles and boost energy levels.

The anabolic window of the body lasts for over 30 to 45 minutes after a workout.  It is during this time that the body looks for proteins and carbohydrates to replenish and recover glycogen in the body and build muscles. This is why it is critical to provide the body with the required nutrition.

A pre-workout snack is optional; however a post-workout snack holds more importance – it gives your body the much needed fuel to recover after a tough workout.

8. Post Workout Shower

Who doesn’t like a hot shower post working out in the gym; the hot water seems to ease the muscles and the body from aches. However, you should instead take a cool post-workout shower.

While working out, the heart rate increases and lactic acid builds in the muscles as they are deprived of oxygen.

Taking a cool shower immediately bring the heart rate and increase blood circulation, which in turn helps to reduce the recovery time for sore muscles.

Working out in the gym can cause small tears to the muscles, thereby causing muscle inflammation. A cold shower relives this soft tissue inflammation and the pain associated with it.

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Health experts recommend you should take a cold shower after working out. Pixabay

Now if you ask us the mantra to maximize the results of hours of working out at the gym?

“Warm up. Sweat it out. And cool down”

That’s all you need to do to make sure your body remains healthy.

– prepared by Soha Kala. Twitter : SohaKala

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Women can Boost their Working Memory with Hormone Therapy

Benefits of oestrogen therapy in women.

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oestrogen therapy can increase working memory under stress
oestrogen therapy can increase working memory under stress. wikimedia commons

New York, Nov 5: Undergoing a type of hormone replacement therapy — used for menopausal treatment — may help protect as well as improve working memory for some women as they age, according to a new study.

Hormone replacement therapy uses female hormones – oestrogen and progesterone – to treat common symptoms of menopause and ageing.

The findings showed that women taking oestrogen-only therapy had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and performed better on tests of “working memory” following exposure to stress compared to women taking a placebo.

“Our study suggests that oestrogen treatment after menopause protects the memory that is needed for short-term cognitive tasks from the effects of stress,” said lead author Alexandra Ycaza Herrera, a researcher at the University of Southern California – Davis.

To measure the effect of oestrogen therapy on working memory under stress, the team recruited 42 women with an average age of 66.

Half of the postmenopausal women had been on estradiol — a type of oestrogen therapy — for approximately five years, while the others had received a placebo.

The researchers, in the paper published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, collected saliva to measure the women’s levels of cortisol, oestrogen, and progesterone.

They also ran a test of working memory called a “sentence span task”, in which the women were each given a series and then asked whether each sentence made sense. They also were asked to recall the last word of each one.

While women receiving oestrogen therapy had a smaller increase in cortisol and showed no decrease in working memory function, even after being exposed to stressful situation, those taking the placebo experienced a spike in cortisol levels as well as demonstrated a decrease in working memory function.

Previous studies have pointed to potential health risks — the Ahigher risk of breast cancer, heart disease, stroke and blood clots — of the treatment.

Thus, Herrera noted that “hormone replacement therapy may not be right for every woman, but women need to be able to have the conversation with their doctors”.(IANS)

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Researchers found a new Drug to Reduce Alcohol Addiction in Teenagers

The drug is (+)-Naltrexone can reduce the drinking habit in teenagers.

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A new drug can reduce Alcohol addiction in teenagers
A new drug can reduce Alcohol addiction in teenagers. Pixabay
  • Researchers have found a new drug that may eventually help to reduce alcohol addiction in adults who used to binge during their adolescent years.

A new drug found which can reduce Alcohol addiction in teenagers

“During our teen years, the brain is still in a relatively immature state. Binge drinking worsens this situation, as alcohol undermines the normal developmental processes that affect how our brain matures,” said lead author Jon Jacobsen, a Ph.D. student at the University of Adelaide, Australia.

“Therefore, when an adolescent who has been binge drinking becomes an adult, they’re often left with an immature brain, which assists in the development of alcohol dependence,” Jacobsen added.

For the study, published in the Journal Neuropharmacology, researchers observed that adolescent mice involved in binge drinking behavior developed an increased sensitivity to alcohol as adults and engaged in further binge drinking.

The researchers were able to prevent some of these detrimental behaviors observed in adulthood, by giving mice a drug that blocks a specific response from the immune system in the brain.

The drug is (+)-Naltrexone, known to block the immune receptor Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4).

“This drug effectively switched off the impulse in mice to binge drink. The mice were given this drug still sought out alcohol, but their level of drinking was greatly reduced,” says senior author Professor Mark Hutchinson, Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics at the University of Adelaide.

“We’re excited by the finding that we can potentially block binge drinking in an adult after they have experienced such behavior during adolescence, by stopping the activation of the brain’s immune system. It’s the first time this has been shown and gives us hope that our work has implications for the eventual treatment of alcohol addiction in adults,” Hutchinson noted.(IANS)

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Everyone Keeps Talking About Proteins And Carbs, Know Why Fats Are Important Too

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Consume fats
Fat is one of the three macro nutrients that supply calories to the body.

New Delhi, October 18: Made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, fats are organic compounds, belonging to a group of substances called lipids. Consume fats as they are good for your body but being mindful of the kind of fat you’re consuming is important. Fats come in both liquid and solid form and are a source of energy in foods.

Fat is one of the three macronutrients (along with protein and carbohydrates) that supply calories to the body. When your body runs out of carbohydrates to fuel itself, it starts using calories from fats to sustain itself.

Following changes can bring the benefits of fats with less worry

  • Carefully look at the food labels and check how much trans-fat is present
  • Start using oils in place of solid fats. Fry using olive oil rather than using butter; for any baking use canola oil
  • In place of meat, eat mackerel and salmon two times a week to get omega 3 fatty acids
  • Avoid saturated fats like cheese, mayonnaise, creams and start consuming avocados, walnuts, pistachios, flax seed, etc. Be mindful of what kind of fats you’re consuming. Consume fats of the Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated family to get the benefits.

ALSO READ: Obesity leads to 13 types of Cancer, including that of Pancreas and Esophagus: Study

Fats perform functions which are vital for our body

 Consume Fats To Absorb Vitamins

Vitamins A, D, K, and E, known as fat-soluble vitamins, cannot be absorbed and stored without the assistance of fat. These vitamins improve our vision, absorb calcium, and help with blood clotting. It is important that we must have enough fat in our body so that we don’t become deficient in any of these vitamins. Consume fats to keep your vision and absorption of calcium right.

 Maintains Body Temperature

Fat cells insulate our body and maintain normal body temperature. Fat cells are stored in adipose tissue which is not always visible but can be seen if you are overweight. You may notice an abundance of adipose tissue around your thighs and stomach.

 Gives Energy

The body needs to function and in order to do that it requires energy. When it doesn’t get energy from carbohydrates, it turns to fat stores to fuel all its function. When a cell is in need of energy, a complex chemical process releases the fat from fat cells and converts it to usable fuel.

Consume fats

Consume Fats To Keep Your Skin and Hair Healthy

Fat aids in absorbing the increased amount of vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D through the bloodstream. Dry and flaky skin, therefore, is an indication of a deficiency in fatty acids.

Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats are considered healthy for heart and help in reducing risks of cardiovascular disease and stabilize cholesterol levels. It is advisable that one must consume the aforesaid fats in place of trans-fatty, saturated, and hydrogenated fats.

– prepared by Siddheshwar Sharma. Twitter: @MancSiddheshwar