Yoga for Women

January 17, 2009

Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word ‘yug’, which means to join or unite. Yoga is about uniting the mind and the body in the ultimate pursuit of spiritual realization and peace. Yoga provides health, happiness, peace, and poise. Listening to the inner voice and the feeling of the mind and body being at peace with each other is a central aspect of yoga.

Yoga is as important for women as for men. However, their bodies are created differently and over the period of a lifetime, a woman has to handle more physiological stress than men. It is therefore important that women practice certain asanas regularly for life-long benefit.

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In this section we will look at the five most important asanas for women.

I. Surya Namaskaar

Only 35 to 40% of your muscles are used in daily activities; whereas, the rest of them remain inactive. Surya Namaskaar is a physical exercise where almost 95% to 97% of your muscles are switched on to the active mode. Doing the surya namaskar ensures that the muscles remain active, hours ahead during the day, till you recharge them the next morning. The surya namaskar or the sun salutation consists of 12 postures. Done with both the sides of the body; it would equal to 24 postures in each cycle.

II. Sarvangasan:

Sarvangasana is an inverted pose and is considered as the ‘queen’ of asanas. Many practitioners consider it to be an especially important and beneficial pose. In Sanskrit language ‘sarvangasan’ means “posture of the complete body.”

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Benefits & Precautions

Advanced practitioners hold this pose for long periods of time – as much as three hours. However, because of the threat of neck injury, this is not advisable.
The pose is not advisable for the women suffering from high blood pressure, menstruation, thyroid disorders, angina, and spinal weakness caused by conditions such as arthritis or osteoporosis. If you are pregnant, consult a qualified yoga instructor or your physician before attempting this pose.

III. Dwichakrikasan:

Dwichakrikasan is another important asana that should be practiced by women regularly. This is the best exercise to reduce weight. If this is done regularly for 5 to 10 minutes, unnecessary weight can be reduced in minimum time.

This asana also gives a good shape to the stomach. It activates the intestine and cures constipation dysentery, acidity etc. In case of backache, you should do the exercise by raising one leg.

IV. Chakrasan:

Chakrasan or the wheel pose strengthens the arms, shoulders, back and legs and deeply opens the chest and hips. It energizes the body and stimulates the nervous, endocrine, respiratory and circulatory systems.

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V. Shavasan:

Shavasan helps to bring down high blood pressure (arterial hypertension) and gives immense relief to the mind (any individual who has been restricted from doing other asanas due to high blood pressure can perform this asana). It also helps ease tension and stress for those involved in physical activities. This asana should be performed after completing the daily round of yogic asanas. Shavasan done during fasting soothes the nervous system. Every one should attempt this asana, barring children below 12 years of age.

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Free Fitness Tips for Cricket

January 7, 2009

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Cricket is a complex game which has to be played with skill, technique and higher level of fitness to play injury free. Cricketers need to be concerned with improving fitness, losing weight, gaining strength with the development of muscles and avoiding injury while playing .

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Cricket is not a continuous steady state sport as there are variations in almost all the activities and actions like running speed between the wicket, fielding, bowling, throwing and etc. This further is responsible for variation in intensity of effort, strength and power movements of a player.
If a proper workout and warm-up is not done, there are high chances of getting injured. These may include Lower-back problems, hamstring strains, tendon inflammation, rotator calf tear, tennis elbow etc.

Free Fitness Tips
Like any athlete, cricket players also need to follow strength and conditioning program that aims towards them peaking at certain stages for the cricket. By concentrating on a combination of strength training and Cardio-Vascular workouts throughout the off season will enable them to perform with greater ability and reduce risk of injury during the playing season. Indians are blessed with ancient mental and physical conditioning techniques commonly known as Yoga and Meditation. Yoga will help players to improve core strength and concentration.

To prevent injury, it’s essential to follow a correct warm up and stretching routine before starting an intense game. This will help further for dynamic movements to enable bowlers and batsmen to stay in optimum performance during long matches.

Batsmen need to stay long hours at the crease while batting. They require being fit, charged-up and focused throughout the stay on crease doing the best of batting. For this they need to have a strong core, abdominal mid-section, and the ability to generate explosive upper body actions. Players also need to have tremendous power in the arms to play power shots.

Fielders need the ability to sustain a concentrated effort for a 6 hour plus period without fatigue, in various conditions. They also have to vary between intense action like running and leaping to catch the ball and resting making it vary essential that their body is properly warmed and conditioned. It is advisable to keep the body moving whilst on the pitch, walking and stretching the muscles whenever possible. Staying focused is also crucial.

Bowlers require both explosive strength and speed, combined with good muscular endurance, in order to be able to maintain a high number of overs. Poor fitness and muscular strength will result in inaccurate bowling and greater risk of injury, especially for high speed bowlers.

Following could be workout regime to keep you fit:
Cardio-Vascular Training

To improve the cardio-vascular endurance, the player has to spend at least three sessions of moderate physical activity for over a period of 45 minutes to 1 hour (Training heart rate at about 65%-75% of maximum heart rate).

The activities could involve jogging, cycling, elliptical trainers, rowing. One has to split it into 15 minute session of each. A player can do all 4 or at least 3 of these variations. This will also help one to avoid boredom of doing same activity over longer period. This will also help players to improve running and focus.

Intense Workout

Do plyometric circuit training to developing explosive power, do not do this circuit no more than once a week, and certainly not on days before a match, as this type of circuit takes a few days to recover from.

Shuttle sprints: most sprints last for between 6 and 40 meters in a match, so look at this distance for your training. Work your sprints in the following form, standing start, running start, lying start i.e. (as if you have just dived for a ball and missed it) walk forward for 4 steps then turn either to the side or completely behind for a short sprint. Once you can complete these drills in normal training kit, work all the drills wearing all your pads and carrying your bat.

Catch and Fielding Enhancement Workout

A simple throwing and catching drill will help the nero-muscular system. These should be practiced at all training sessions, but most importantly, prior to stepping on to the playing field. It will work as warm-up session.

Fielders throw the ball to each other, especially the slips, bats man should not sit around waiting to go on, the next 2 or 3 bats man in, should be stretching, warming up, and being bowled at. Remember, Rest is Rust.

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Top 5 Best Food for Children

January 7, 2009

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In today’s times parents are finding it very difficult to ensure that their children are having the balanced diet that they need. If you are one of them; you need not worry much about it. Just include the following five foods in your child’s diet and rest assured that your child is getting the much needed nutrients imminent to his healthy growth.

Milk and Milk Products

You must have heard your parents telling you to drink more milk so that you become stronger. Now it is important that you do the same for your children’s health. Milk is one of the most nutritious foods that kids should have. It is natural, readily available and a nutrient rich food comprising of nine essential nutrients, including calcium, vitamins A, B12 and D, protein, phosphorous, riboflavin, potassium and niacin. These nutrients are very important for the salubrious growth of your child.

Milk has immense significance for people from the time they are born. Its importance can be judged from the fact that it is the only food fed to a new born for the initial six months. Apart from the adequate quantity of calcium found in milk, important for building and maintaining strong bones, it also contains Vitamin D which is important for absorption of calcium. The other nutrients found in milk are also of immense importance for the proper growth of your child.

You must pay importance to your child’s milk intake. A glass or two of milk is important for your child’s healthy growth.

Whole Grain Products

Whole grain cereals are nutritionally higher-up to refined grains, more plenteous in dietary fiber, antioxidants, protein, dietary minerals and vitamins. To be more specific, whole grain foods include breads and cereals that contain 100% whole grain foods and not processed flours. Some examples of whole grain food products are cornflakes, brown bread, brown rice, and even popcorn.

You might have tried to include some leafy vegetables in your child’s diet only to receive a frown from him. With whole grain food products you are not only feeding your child with wholesome meals but also providing them with the much needed food fiber. The refined foods such as white breads, white rice or noodles are stripped off their nutritional content and food fiber. Though, refined foods are easily available and in ready-to-eat forms, however, for your child’s health it is important that you switch to whole grain products.

Starting your child’s day with whole grain products will keep him full and active for a long time. In fact, a shift from refined grain foods to whole grain food products will prove to be a much healthier option for the entire family.

Coloured Vegetables

Most parents realize that different kinds of vegetables should be a significant part of their kid’s daily diet because vegetables are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamins as well as minerals. Regretfully, most of the parents face a very difficult time getting their children to eat few if any vegetables every day. First of all, it is important for you to know that by colored vegetables we mean different varieties of vegetables that are consumed raw, boiled, steamed or stir fried in little oil. This does not include french fries or any other deep fried vegetable!

As a parent you must make sure that you child eats vegetables in good quantity. We understand that it is easier said than done. Do not ever force your child to eat vegetables that will turn the meal time into war time. The more you force him the more he will avoid them. As a parent you have to change the way you cook or present the vegetables. Creative methods to get your child to have more veggies can include disguising them with other food products, like in a vegetable sandwich. You can even chop up lots of vegetables and mix them in noodles, soups, omelets etc or even better making pizza with more vegetable topping and less or no cheese.

Egg and Meat

The egg has a high repute as a food. Its white portion is rich in protein, and the egg yolk is rich in protein and vitamin A. An egg also contains calcium and iron. However, the egg yolk has high cholesterol content. You must try to include eggs into your child’s daily food intake. There are several ways of preparing eggs which will add variety to the diet. Hard boiled eggs can prove to be a nutritious snack for your child.

Meat is known to have high biological value and is rich in protein and several other nutrients. Meat like any other food should not be fried as it loses its nutritional content and with the extra fat it becomes unhealthy. The best way of cooking the meat is stir frying, grilling, broiling and cooking in a pressure cooker. Also, many studies have established that meat improves a child’s performance at school and makes him brighter.

A variety of fruits

Fruit nutrition should be an important part of your child’s diet. Fruits are known to be rich in many nutrients and daily intake of the same reduces risk factors of some serious diseases in the long term. Providing your child with adequate amount of fruits is the best thing you can do to ensure your child’s good health. Fruits are best eaten fresh, do not cut them and store them in the refrigerator for long time. If your child is not specifically a fruit lover, then you can prepare scrumptious fruit chaats for him. Also, you can replace sodas and other soft drinks with fruit juice at your home.
Though it is advised that fresh juice is best for health, substituting it with packed fruit juice available in box packing is better than a glass of cola drink. Moreover, kids would love sipping the fruit with a straw.

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