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Losing heritage? How modern gymnasiums are killing the Akharas of Banaras

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By Rituparna Chakraborty

The traditional akharas (traditional Indian gyms) in Varanasi in India are fading into oblivion. Earlier the city which had one or two hundred akharas has lost its ground to the modern gymnasiums and the situation is so bad that now only 15-16 akharas are in working condition.

The akharas which once were a pride of Varanasi’s tradition and heritage, are losing to gyms because the modern training routines are less rigorous and consume little time.

Gyassuddin who works as a physical trainer at a local gym says that working out in an akhara is very time consuming and requires a disciplined routine, which the youth find a little out dated.

The Akhara Culture

In the earlier days people joined akharas to practice wrestling activities which was then a source entertainment.

The central feature of every akhara is a twelve-to-fifteen meter square earthen pit which is usually covered with a cement pavilion. The pit is surrounded by an expanse of packed earth which consists of turmeric (haldi), alkali (phitkari) and many other ayurvedic herbs.

The equipments like gada, dumble etc used in akaharas are much heavier than the machines available at the gyms.

The akharas provide natural environment to the wrestlers and the workouts are carried out under the open sky and in fresh air. Before starting the daily exercise they offer prayer to lord Hanuman. The akhara is an aesthetic cum moral space.

Why akharas are losing to gyms?

The gyms have proper trainers who are qualified and have proper knowledge of diet and exercises. Also, they have well trained staff who customize work-out routines for the clients.

According to health expert Dr. Ravindu, who practises in  Varanasi, the exercises carried out at gyms are safer as there is proper guidance by the trainers, whereas the akharas lag in this. He also stated that the pahalwans are more prone to injuries due to this reason.

 

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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.

ALSO READ Do You Wish to Stay Healthy but are Scared of the word ‘Diet’? If so, then these Ayurvedic Diet Tips are for you!

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.

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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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5 Events Of November Which Are Ideal For Family Vacations

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Events in November which will give you a vacation mood.
Events in November which will give you a vacation mood. Wikimedia.

As we approach the year’s end, Indians not just bid adieu to their summer outfits but also welcome the festival seasons. October and November are two months in India which are full of cultural events and festivals, which make these months, the ideal time for going on family vacations.

Below are the events of November 2017 which you will regret missing. They are worth the try for family vacations:

1.  Dev Deepavali, Varanasi

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Representational Image. The ghat of holy city Varanasi. 

Varanasi, the holiest city of India, celebrated Dev Deepavali on Kartik Poornima every year. The festival is celebrated with joy. The ghats of Varanasi are lit with beautiful diyas (earthen lamps). God is believed to have descended to the banks of Ganges, to take a holy dip. The festival will take place on November 3, 2017.

 2. Dharamsala International Film Festival

Filmmaker, cinema buffs or all those people interested in the art of films come together of Dharamsala International Film Festival (DIFF). This film festival will witness filmmakers coming from different regions to show films on various issues- socially relevant, contemporary etc. DIFF will take place from November 2 to November 5. If you are a movie buff, then you should immediately pack your bags and seal a date for attending the festival.

3. Pushkar Camel Fair, Rajasthan

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Representational Image. Camel Fair is celebrated in Pushkar. Pixabay

Pushkar Camel fair, a cattle fair, in Pushkar which truly defines the real meaning of culture. The Pushkar Camel Fair has been in tradition for a very long time. The fair attracts a huge crowd every year. One of the most ideal and happy places for family vacations. It will take place between 23rd October to 4th November.

Also Read: 7 Beautiful Places To Visit In North East India

4. NH7 Weekender

The five seasons old Indian multi-city music festival has indeed garnered a lot of attention and love from the musically inclined youngsters across the country. It is a combination of national and international studies coming together. In Meghalaya, the event will take place from October 27 to October 28.

5. Guru Purab

family vacations
Sikhs celebrating Guru Purab. Wikimedia.

Guru Purab, one of the most important festivals for Sikhs. The golden temple celebrates it with a lot of joy. The celebration which Amritsar witnesses at this time are unbelievable. It will take place on November 2017. Golden temple is indeed one of the best places for family vacations.

-by Megha Acharya of NewsGram.  She can be reached at @ImMeghaacharya.

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Mann Ki Baat: Modi Recalls ‘Khadi Movement’, Urges People to Use Khadi

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Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi

New Delhi, Sep 24: Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his recent ‘Mann Ki Baat’ show, memorialized ‘Khadi Movement’.  He urged the masses to promote khadi usage and take it forward as a movement. “I had earlier mentioned that Khadi was not a cloth but a movement which should be taken forward,” Modi said in the 36th edition of his monthly radio programme, “Mann Ki Baat”.

Stating that he has observed a surge in the people’s interest towards Khadi, the Prime Minister said that the sale of the fabric has also increased due to which the employment among poor people has seen a rise.

“We must work towards lighting lamps in the houses of people engaged in the Khadi industry this Diwali,” he said.

“The Khadi ashram in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi was defunct for the last 26 years, however, it has now been revived,” Modi added. (IANS)