Archive | June, 2017

A Handbook of Diagnosis and Treatment of Autism

For Kind Attention of Guardians, Doctors, Psychologists having/supporting treating Autistic Ward/s

This book is meant to be read by parents and guardians of children afflicted by this disability. It will help them to become aware, get ready to bestow care and devote attention for as long as they possibly can to ease the hardship the surrounding society is likely to throw on their autistic son/daughter.

Child specialists, child psychologists, physicians, pediatricians, neurologists, speech & language pathologists, professional support personnel besides parents and guardians will find the book quite useful. They can advice guardians to become familiar with the contents of the book to serve 24×7 as a practical companion in the service of the autistic ward.

Written in a simple layman’s language, devoid of any technical complexities, this modestly priced book implores that the afflicted person, or for that matter their guardians also, has to learn to live with it and compromise with the situation as faced. It has to be understood that it is not the child’s fault. He is born with it. He has to be accepted ‘as is’. Society also has to be forbearing with this condition. The book tells readers that symptoms of this disability start appearing by or before the age of three. The condition affects the normal brain function characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, restricted and repetitive behavior. Children may fail to respond to their names and often avoid eye contact with other people. They have difficulty interpreting what others are thinking because they can’t understand social cues. Boys are four times more likely to be adversely affected than girls.

The book comes up with practical solutions to problems that may crop up from time to time. Unlike other books that carry western ideas, this one is written by an Indian and covers Indian settings with focus on Indian options. A list of addresses has been given at the end of the book to be made use of if and when a problem appears that warrants immediate attention.

About the book:

Autism: A Handbook of Diagnosis & Treatment of ASD

ISBN: 9789381384541

Author: Sumita Bose

Retail Price: Rs.395/-

Publisher: V&S Publishers, New Delhi, India

Edition: 2015

The author has done a course in child psychology from Vermont. She has undertaken autism training from Autism Society of Maryland as well as from Illinois University. Besides, she is the Autism Ambassador in Melbourne, Florida. She has a decade of teaching experience in India and is currently teaching in USA.

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5 Tips For Taming Hunger

Do you find that you are always hungry? Is the hunger insatiable? This can be very frustrating especially when you’re trying to watch your weight or slim down. If you eat a meal, you want to feel full and satisfied and not hungry within an hour. It’s important to note that if you are trying to slim down and the leaner you get, you will experience some hunger. That dieting hunger is inevitable because it’s a survival mechanism. You are not dying of course, but your body is trying to preserve its body fat in case of a true famine. On the flip side, if you simply struggle with what feels like excessive hunger here are my top 5 tips for taming hunger:

Tip 1: Track Your Calories

Oftentimes people think they are consuming enough calories for their body but we’ve learned that most people are terrible at estimating calories. This tip is about using an app to track your calories so you understand exactly how much you are consuming. You won’t have to track your calories forever but it will start to give you a clearer picture until you figure this out. For weight maintenance you will want to eat in calories, your body weight multiplied by 14-16. This is a starting point, it’s important to monitor your weight and hunger levels. If you begin to lose weight eating those calories then increase them. Foods that are higher in calories are nuts and seeds so grabbing a small handful of those and eating them slowly can provide a boost. The fat in the nuts and seeds will also help with satiety.

Tip 2: Nutrients and Volume

If you are eating a somewhat restrictive diet whether on purpose to avoid certain foods or good groups or that is just how you eat, you could potentially be missing out on key nutrients. A hunger signal from the body is driving you to eat more in order to acquire what’s missing. Be sure to include lots of green vegetables and fruits to get those micro-nutrients in. Also, taking a greens powder mix daily will fill in those nutritional gaps. Alongside the nutrients think about volume. Volume foods are large in quantity, high in nutrients and low in calories. These volume foods will fill you up and keep you feeling full. Some great examples of volume foods are vegetables such as cucumbers, spaghetti squash, kale and zucchini. Berries are also great for providing nutrients and are low calories so have a bowl of sliced strawberries if you wish.

Tip 3: Drink Water

The part of your brain that interprets hunger and thirst signals is the same and signals sometimes get mixed up. When you are feeling hungry and you have recently ate, try reaching for a fresh glass of water instead of food. Oftentimes, having a big glass of water helps stave off hunger for another hour or two.

Tip 4: Sleep

When we get poor sleep, whether that be interrupted sleep or simply not enough hours it can affect our hunger levels for the next day. This lack of sleep will make you feel hungrier than normal and leptin levels go down. Leptin is our hormone that tells us we are full and to stop eating. Try working on creating healthy sleep habits in order to improve your sleep. Some tips for creating these habits are; set a schedule to lie down every night at the same time, dim the lights in the evening, remove all electronics and cell phones from your room, sleep in complete darkness, keep a journal beside your bed to write down any thoughts or ideas that pop up, and so forth.

Tip 5: Intermittent Fasting

Fasting (abstaining from food) has the ability to suppress appetite and reset leptin signals. A popular way to begin this protocol is to start with intermittent fasting. This is where you will fast for about 16 hours (mostly over night) and only eat your calories for the day in an 8 hour eating window. It depends on your lifestyle but it’s easiest to have an eating window later in the day to enjoy a big dinner. For example; fast from 8pm until 12pm the next day. Drink only water, black coffee or plain tea and eat your food between 12pm and 8pm. The eating window can shortened as you see fit as long as you consume all of your calories for the day in the eating window. By doing this, you will suppress your appetite throughout the day and feel full and satiated eating your calories in a shorter time frame.

Feeling hungry can be uncomfortable but do some personal investigative work and find out what the culprit could be. Once you know where an issue may be then you will feel confident in knowing how to correct it.

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Hair Loss (Alopecia) – Causes And Treatments

Hair thinning or hair loss is common among women averaging hundred hair strands of loss in a day. That said, medical conditions or alopecia is more common among men. Causes for hair loss depend on many factors including physical environment, emotional stressors and even health conditions. Some conditions may resolve on their own however, some conditions may cause irreversible hair loss.

Causes

One of the major causes of hair thinning is due to the person’s genetic factors. People who have relatives that experience hair loss are likely to experience the condition as opposed to those who have fewer or no such relatives in their family branch. Aside from genetic factors, the natural aging process also results to slowing down of the body’s production resulting to the said condition. People who are into their late 30’s or early 40’s are likely to start experience the problem.

Hair has its own life cycle just like any part of our body. When physical stressors such as accidents, pregnancy or surgery is experienced by the body, the life cycle is interrupted causing disruption and noticeable hair loss of the patient. In this case, the loss is only temporary and as soon as the body recovers, the growth cycle is resumed.

Too much or too little of supplements can also cause one to lose hair. According to the AAD, too much of Vitamin A in the body can cause hair loss temporarily. Protein, which is essential to the development of cells and tissues is important as well, too little of which, can also affect hair production.

Hair loss can also be a sign of an underlying health problem. For patients that experience unusual amount of hair loss, they should consider consulting their family physician or a dermatologist to determine if it is normal or signs of health conditions such as anemia.

Treatments

Hair condition usually returns to its normal pattern once the body undergoes healing and recovers from the physical stressors and lifestyle modifications are accomplished. Some however may need to take medications to ensure hair regrowth. Minoxidil and Finasteride are two common medications available to treat hair loss.

Minoxidil is available as a topical treatment and commonly used to treat male-pattern baldness. The solution is FDA approved and directly applied to the affected area and should be left for at least four hours to ensure effectivity. The solution may not be as effective for people who are older or those that are already affected by baldness for a longer period.

Disclaimer: Any information provided here does not constitute as a medical advice and is intended for general information only. One should always consult their own doctor or seek qualified health practitioners for advice before making any actions or decisions regarding their health options.

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Building a High Intensity Training Workout Routine

As a high intensity training coach for strength athletes I often, and sometimes on a daily basis, get questions about how to build a workout routine, how to advance a workout routine or what the next step is in reaching individual potential. I always keep it simple stupid using the basic theory of HIT.

I wish I could say it is just experience that allows me to answer these questions but it is actually a combination of critical thinking, experience and an understanding of how people around us including athletes, differ… based on their genetic makeup. What I am saying is that although high intensity strength training is probably the most effective training ever, because of it’s efficiency and the way our bodies are designed, we still all have different genetic fingerprints and in applying the theory of high intensity training properly, is the key to the puzzle.

It is no secret that we are all genetically different, from our fingerprints to the individual differences that make us up. If you look at color we have albinos at one end of the spectrum and Negros at the other. This difference also is directly related to tolerance to sun light where an albino can tolerate very little volume of sunlight where as a Negro can tolerate much more. These are genetics! Same applies to muscles, height, IQ and a list of others.

Same can be said for tolerance to exercise, although we are physiologically the same we are genetically different. This is the reason when I build an exercise routine I customize it to the individual using it. There is no One Size Fits All totally!

In saying there is no one size fits all, there are exercises that are very effective which turn on the growth mechanism of the entire body. These exercises are what I call the big exercises such as deadlifts, squats, rows, high pulls, dips, bench presses and their alternatives. When building any workout, I use a cross hatch of these exercises, based on the person’s goals and augment these exercises with other effective but less stressful exercises. By using the thermometer of volume and frequency to adhere with brief and infrequent workouts, I ask a number of questions to get a read of what their genetic makeup might be. This might include:

o What they feel their weaknesses are

o What their rate of progress has been for the past 3 months

o What their energy levels are at the moment

o What their current workout frequency is

o What level of intensity are they applying

o What their diet is like and what do they tend to eat

o What is their body fat percentage at the moment

o How long have they been training

o What training have they been initiating; high volume or high intensity

o Do they include aerobics or cardio training and why

These are just a few. In asking these questions I am painting a picture of who they are genetically, and the road they have traveled, to get to the point of where they are presently. If they are searching out a workout routine and find me, in most cases, the way they have approached their goals has been unsuccessful. What I find in many cases is that they are floundering. They have gone months and years without meaningful progress due to two things.

1- Not cooperating with their genetics

2- Not applying properly, the Theory of High Intensity Training, which stated simply is that exercise must be intense, brief and infrequent.

It is no secret that you can train either hard or long but you can’t train hard and long. The theory of HIT indicates quite simply this…

1- You must stimulate muscular growth with an intense contraction i.e. going to failure or beyond…

2- Your training must be brief as to

3- Allow the body to not only compensate but overcompensate or adapt to that stimulation.

Did you know that you can increase your strength beyond 300% however your ability to recover may increase on 50%?

The body only requires you to stimulate an adaptive response once, not over and over again and because any more than is minimally required takes away from the growth and recovery process and since the body systemically recovers, then whatever is left over goes into overcompensation, laying down muscle… then your training must be brief and infrequent. And all this hinges on one thing… genetics!

I find…

A properly designed program, including one for bodybuilders is really a strength program because muscle and strength are relative.

This means that it is necessary to do only what is minimally required to stimulate an increase. Any more than what is minimally required is overtraining! This means only one set per exercise… remember, you do not have to stimulate a response over and over again. Your goal is not to do more work, leave that to the distance runners!

There is also no reason to do a number of sets and alter rep range, every rep up until the last almost impossible rep performed that turns on the growth mechanism of the body is nothing more than a warm up.

The higher the rep range, the less stressful due to the weight being employed.

Big basic exercises, as previously mentioned, should be the core of your workout routine augmented with smaller exercises like curls, laterals, pull downs, triceps extension etc if necessary.

All big basic exercises do not have to be done in each workout, rather, performing just one or sometimes two per workout is plenty along with one or two smaller exercises.

In a split routine you can have up to 4 or more split workouts with rest days between each while experiencing amazing progress. You will not loose size but gain!

Rest days in general range most effectively between 4 days all the way to 14 days, based on genetics and the level of the trainee. A very advanced trainee who can generate very intense contractions thus strength may need 7+ days of rest as would a less experienced trainee who has a low tolerance to intense exercise. Both will advance, yet at different rates.

Advanced athletes require more intense contractions to advance, along with longer rest times. Higher stress intensity techniques are required and work very well in all exercises if managed properly.

Both beginners and advanced athletes require big core basic exercises to turn on the systemic growth process of the body.

Tracking progress means tracking your strength gains. You will either gain reps or strength or both which will result at a future point as a muscular bodyweight gain.

Diet plays a major role in performance, progress and recovery. There must be quality cement in place to build the house. Macro-nutrient manipulation in many cases is very beneficial, allowing the bodies natural systems to be used most efficiently. Processed anything should be limited.

Remember, you grow outside the gym not in it! It is an ends to a means. Use these factors when building your H I T workout routine and watch your progress speed along to reaching your genetic potential.

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Bacterial Vaginosis Diet – Foods To Eat and To Avoid With Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis is a condition in which the natural environment of the vagina is disturbed as a result of overgrowth of harmful bacteria that dwells in the vagina. The harmful bacteria multiply rapidly due to various reasons, notably poor hygiene and unhealthy eating habits. When these harmful bacteria multiply and outnumbers the good or beneficial bacteria that also dwell in the vagina, then this imbalance triggers the infection.

Some of the symptoms of this disease include greyish white vaginal discharge which is more obvious after sexual intercourse, foul fishy vagina odor, vaginal itching and difficult or painful urination. The main cause of this infection is still unknown, but certain factors may increase the risk of this condition, and these include; excessive vaginal douching, having multiple sexual partners, engaging in unprotected sex, use of inter-uterine devices for birth control as well as using vaginal sprays.

Antibiotics are usually prescribed for the treatment of bacterial vaginosis. Conventional treatments using antibiotics can only provide a temporary relief as there are always the possibilities that the disease can happen again. This might prompt you to take more doses of antibiotics which are harmful to the body as this is likely to cause side effects.

If you are diagnosed with bacterial vaginosis or have any of its symptoms, the most important step towards your treatment is to modify your diet. There are certain foods that can help you to control the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis.

The followings are some foods to eat and avoid in preventing and controlling your bacterial vaginosis infection:

Foods To Eat

You should eat a diet that is high in fibres. Fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains contain high fibre contents, so eat them regularly. You should also include nutritional supplements such as vitamin C in your regular diet in order to boost your immune system.

Drink plenty of water everyday. Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water everyday. This is necessary in order for you to be hydrated at all times. Drinking lots of water will flush out all the unnecessary fluids in the body and also help in the digestion of extra sugar in the system. This will eliminate a major source of food for bad bacteria in the vagina. In addition, try to drink lots of cranberry juice. It contains high level of acid which suppresses the growth of harmful bacteria in the vagina.

Foods To Avoid

Eating some foods may increase the risk of contacting the disease or aggravate the symptoms of an existing infection. Stop eating food with high glucose-sugar contents, such as white bread. This type of food is a source of nutrients for bad bacteria in the vagina. Therefore, you should avoid them in your diet. Instead, opt for whole wheat bread which contains less glucose and sugar contents.

Avoid salt or reduce excessive intake of salt in your diet. Too much salt in the body can cause water retention and can also increase the risk of urinary tract infection.

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Natural Homemade Beauty Tips For Women

Hello beautiful! Whether you are a college going person or a working woman, these natural homemade beauty tips for women are helpful for every woman. Beauty brands come up with the new products every day and sometimes it’s so confusing. I am not here to slam the beauty brands because I do use some of the beauty products but most of them sell fake promises.They attract people through fancy advertisements. How can a customer be smart and not get confused. It’s quite not possible.

With the help of some natural homemade beauty tips, you are going to get the best results. I personally use all these homemade remedies and trust me it really works. Market products give you the instant results but these results last for a short period of time. If you want to see the difference in your skin, you have to be patient and consistent. Below are the most effective and natural homemade beauty tips for women.

Natural homemade beauty tips for women:

1: For dry skin: If you live in a humid weather, your skin becomes really dry and specially when you have dry skin type. Your skin lacks moisture. You need moisture in your skin to make it look soft and supple. Take two tablespoons of milk and add honey in it. Take a cotton ball and apply this mixture on your face. You can also use malai (full cream) instead of milk. Apply it at night and keep it for 30 minutes and wash your face with the cold water.

2: For oily skin: This skin type is really complicated and we often suffer from the blackheads and the whiteheads and the stubborn pimples. The skin produces excess of sebum and the sebum gets blocked in the pores thus resulting in pimples. The oily skin also needs to be moisturized. When the skin becomes too dry, it produces excess oil. You need to keep your skin clean and clear. You can use oatmeal mask, Take some oatmeal and add honey in it. Apply this mask for 30 minutes and wash it off with the cold water. Your skin will feel fresh.

3: For blackheads: When the skin is exposed to the dirt and pollution, the dirt gets deposited in the pores and results in the blackheads. These blackheads are very stubborn. You can use this natural homemade beauty tip to get rid of the dirt. Take an egg white and add honey and lemon in it. Apply this all over your face and leave it for 20-30 minutes. To get rid of the blackheads on the nose, Take one tablespoon of baking powder and add some lemon in it. Now apply this on your nose and leave it for 30 minutes. It is going to irritate for a while but it;s natural. It works like a miracle and your skin will look so clear.

4: For instant glowing skin: I use this natural homemade beauty tip to get an instant glowing skin. Take some honey and add few drops of lemon in it. Now apply this mask on you face and wash it with the cold water after 30 minutes.

5: For dark circles: We are living in a busy world under so much work pressure and stress. Lack of sleep and exposure to the gadgets for a long time leads to the stubborn dark circles under the eyes. Take some almond oil and massage the under eye area with this oil clockwise and anti clockwise. You can take some raw milk and add few drops of rose water in it. Apply this mixture with the help of a cotton ball. You can leave this overnight and wash it with the help of cold water in the morning.

6: For skin lightening: If your skin is exposed to the sun, it can tan quickly. Potato juice helps in lightening the skin.

7: For fresh dewy skin. Cut some cucumbers and soak it in the water overnight. Now wash you face with this water early in the morning. Your skin will look instantly fresh and dewy.

8: For moisturizing skin: I wash my face with the honey and I often skip the cleanser in the morning and wash my face just with the honey. It makes my skin very soft and maintains the PH balance of the skin.

9: For pimples and acne: You can use a face pack of multani mitti and rose water once in a week to get rid of the dirt. Add some honey or few drops of coconut oil if you have extra dry skin. Apply this pack for 20 minutes and wash your face with the cold water.

10: For facial hair: Hormonal changes can lead to the facial growth. When there is a fluctuation in your hormones, it disturbs the balance and leads to the growth of hair on the chin and jawline areas. You can use a face pack made with besan (gram flour) sugar and lemon. Apply this pack for 20 minutes and wash it off with the cold water. Use this pack twice a week to see the faster results. It does not remove all the hair but gradually lightens the hair and growth.

These were some highly effective and natural homemade beauty tips for women.

I always use these natural homemade beauty tips and have seen a great change in the quality of my skin. You need to make sure that you are taking a healthy diet because at the end, no matter what you apply outside, if you don’t take care of your diet, it won’t make any difference. You need to eat the right food. Patience is the key. Don’t expect the instant miracles. Who ever promises you an instant result are sure to offer the fake products. Having a healthy and great skin takes a lot of time and extra efforts unless you are born with it naturally.

Going natural is the best thing you can do for your skin and body. Your skin will thank you later. These natural homemade beauty tips have no side effects at all and I assure you that these home remedies are the best for every skin type. Keep your body hydrated and follow these remedies to get a clear and glowing skin.

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Best Brow Enhancing Products of the Day

Looking good is about looking good from head to toe, and today eyebrows are the hottest feature to focus on. This is necessary because well groomed brows give your face a polished and focused look, while bushy, overgrown brows make you look unkempt and make people think you have a mono-brow instead of two eyebrows.

Here are some eyebrow products that you must have in your eyebrow makeup collection for the perfect brow shape:

• Tweezers

The ideal pair of tweezers works best on any type of facial hair, thick or thin. They are perfectly aligned and point flawlessly. Good tweezers are super efficient at grabbing the short, dark eyebrow hairs that most blunt and clumsy tweezers find difficult to grasp, giving your eyebrows sharp and precise arch lines.

• Brow Shaping Color

If you are looking for eyebrow makeup that grooms your brows without making them look artificial, then go for brow shaping color. With a mascara-like brush, the believable color is ridiculously easy to apply as you can just brush the color onto your brows naturally. It just enhances your natural eyebrow shape, makes it fuller and darker without making your brows look like they have been hideously penciled in.

• Brow Wax and Powder Combo

Get a compact with a wax and powder combo for your eyebrows. These two components are the best eyebrow products as they blend in seamlessly with your natural brows without looking made up. The combination is mistake proof and lasts until you decide to take it off. Available in a myriad of complexion friendly shades, your brows would thank you for using this product.

• Powder Eyebrow Pencil

A powder pencil gives you the best of both worlds when it comes to eyebrow makeup. It is the best tool for you if you are not steady with a brush but still want your brows to have the soft look powder gives. The texture of the pencil is unbelievably soft and smooth and the color and staying power are both exceptional. Unlike typical pencils, powder based brow pencils don’t give your brows a waxy, shiny look.

• The Complete Brow Shaping Kit

Eyebrow shaping kits make grooming your brows really easy. They are simple, easy and cheaper than buying individual products. These usually contain brow powder, highlighter and brow stencils. The stencils work best for people who aren’t that good at makeup since they are foolproof and shape your brows to perfection with minimum effort.

• Eyebrow Masks

Eyebrow masks are great if your natural eyebrows are sparse or have not been growing properly due to illness or accidents. They come with fillers, stencils, templates and diagrams so that you can completely reshape your brows, make them look as natural as possible and enhance your natural beauty.

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Stop Panic Disorder – Deal With the Precarious Symptoms of Panic Disorder and End Your Agony Forever

Before we touch the topic on the various ways and methods to stop panic disorder, we must first try to comprehend what are panic disorders. Panic disorder is a mental ailment which affects the individual's rational thinking. At some point of time in our life, we all have to go through difficulties. While some of us are genetically or otherwise better equipped to deal with the problems, others however are not so fortunate and they fall victims of several malicious mental ailments.

But why do panic disorders happen in the first place? Life is not a pleasurable experience for us. Some among us were forced to face traumatic circumstances such as rape, war, natural calamities, accidents and other disastrous circumstances. It is quite hard to imagine the mental state of a teenage girl whose body was violated by rapists ruthlessly and mercilsly. Although the excruciating physical pain abates with course of time the subconscious mind holds an indelible scar. Whenever the victim is reminded of the ghastly accidents of that fateful day, fear and stress wrecks havoc with the mental stability of the victims and panic disorders happen. Here although intensive counseling can stop panic attack.

Apart from the above mentioned causes, vicious panic disorders are also triggered by OCD or obsessive compulsive disorders. The patients of this peculiar disorder live under a constant fantasy or imaginary fear. They believe that they are under threat from worms, microbes, space ships and what not. Here treatment is a daunting task for therapists and medics. Therapists treating such cases try their level best to make them realize that no such perilous situation exists in reality and the threats are borne out of imagination and fictions.

To stop panic attack in the victim, the therapies are often conducted through pc or voice activated phone service where the person to person interaction is not needed. This type of treatment is fast gaining popularity in the western world mainly because the treatment is cost effective and also in cases of emergencies, the victims can avail these automated consultations even if the therapist is not available.

Panic disorders are also culminations of several different types of phobias. Agoraphobia or fear of being trapped in a particular situation often induces panic disorders. Victims suffering from Agoraphobia often find it hard to get into enclosed spaces like elevators, aircraft for fear of suffocating to death. Some of the poor souls are found challenging climbing staircases even when they could easily availed the elevator. No amount of convincing can stop them from panicking whenever they had to catch a lift or a flight.

Thankfully, there are several types of conventional medicines available to stop panic disorder. Although these medications can be put to rest the symptoms, they can not be cured completely and some also have harmful side effects. Psychiatric treatments, herbal and home remedies can cure the symptoms and not the causes and hence the panic attacks resurface. Our only beacon of hope to stop panic disorder is holistic treatment. These remedies viciously attack the primary culprits of the disorders ie the root causes and hence cure is permanent.

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5 Ways To Fit Exercise Into Your Busy Schedule

Finding time to exercise when you have a full schedule can be tough. When you change your mindset from exercise being one more thing that’s crowding your to-do list daily, to thinking of it as a getaway from your daily routine, you’ll find yourself looking forward to your “time away” exercising. Even if you only fit in 20-30 minutes a handful of times per week, it is putting you on the path of making it a regular part of your schedule. You’ll begin really enjoying it when you start feeling the benefits of your exercise! Finding time is not easy so we must make time.

Here are a few tips on how to fit in a good workout with your busy schedule…

1. Schedule it. Write down when you plan to exercise on your calendar or in your mobile calendar. Schedule the workout in like it’s an important meeting that you can’t miss. You can also set reminder alarms on your mobile phone to prompt you to exercise.

2. Do it at home. Whether you purchase some home workout equipment such as a treadmill or an exercise bike, use online workouts or exercise subscription services, it’s much easier to fit in a workout when you don’t have to leave your home for the gym during gym hours.

3. Start your day with it. As the day goes on and your energy lessens, you may be less likely to exercise. Waking up 30 minutes earlier than normal to fit in a walk on the treadmill or a yoga DVD can start your day off on the right foot.

4. Do the small things. Small things such as parking further away from your workplace or the grocery store, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or using the restroom in your office on a different floor. Even standing up during television commercials or marching in place is an idea. Doing these small things every single day will soon add up and get you in the habit of thinking of ways to better your health on a daily basis.

5. Accountability. Find a workout partner or someone like a coach to hold you accountable. Despite your best efforts, it’s sometimes hard to stay motivated. Having someone hold you accountable maximizes your chances of sticking to your workout schedule. If your workout partner is on the same mission as you they are less likely to bring you down with negative comments that we sometimes receive from others. Friendly challenges are a great way to push each other to work harder too.

Those are some tips to help you fit exercise into your busy schedule. At the end of the day though, it’s important that you do your exercise and push past any excuses. The only person who can stop you is you.

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Learn How to Dunk or 10 Ways to Improve Your Vertical Jump

Let’s be blunt about it: if you play basketball, there’s two leagues of people – those who can dunk, and those who cannot. Although you might think it’s just a question of height, this is not at all the case. Of course, being tall helps, but even average height people – 5ft 9 or 5ft 10 – can learn to perform amazing dunks. How? It’s obvious – by improving their vertical jump. Now, there is a lot of ways to skin the jumping cat, but not all are equally effective (and some can actually be rather dangerous). I’ve put together a collection of tips and tricks that helped me improve my vertical jump from near nothing (after knee surgery on my jump leg and rehabilitation) to over 30 inches within 9 months.

Tip 10) Always warm up before exercise. Trying to push your muscles to the max without warming up appropriately before (with light exercises such as running up or down stairs, or jumping with a jumprope) is a bad idea and can easily lead to strains and other problems.

Tip 9) A basic jumping exercise is the squat with weight. While standing, slowly bend your knees with your back straight. Go down pretty low (you shouldn’t feel any pain or be uncomfortable), then slowly go back up. Doing this slow is key for building up quad muscle volume and power. Start without weights and increase difficulty by gradually raising the number of repetitions. People with major jumping power can easily do 100+ such squats. If you hold a weight such a dumbbell or barbell, hold it behind your head,

in one vertical line with your spine.

Tip 8) Separate weight training days from speed/plyometric days. Medical studies have shown that mixing these different types of exercises is actually bad for the results.

Tip 7) Use jumping rope. Although sometimes shunned as “uncool”, it is the basic plyometric exercise and one of the best ways to improve the explosiveness and power of your legs.

Tip 6) Never relax and let go during your waking time. During my rehab, I was hell-bent on getting my leg back to the same power level as before, and beyond that. I didn’t just exercise every day – I did it nearly

permanently. Of course, you can’t do heavy squats or plyometrics all the time because your legs can just do so much until they tire. However, even little things like walking toe-heel style instead of flat-footed, standing on half-bent legs while doing household stuff, or playing with your quads and calves while

sitting, are very effective when done regularly over a long period of time.

Tip 5) Calf exercise. It’s not only the big upper leg muscle groups that determine your total jump height. Powerful calves can easily add another couple of inches that you may be missing for a resounding dunk. The basic calf exercise is toe raises: stand upright, raise on your toes, go down, and repeat it 50-100 times. When your calves feel hot and burning, it’s time to make a break. A somewhat better variation is: stand on some stable horizontal ledge only with your toes and front part of the foot. Hold yourself at something with your hand. Go down with your heels about 30-45 degrees below the ledge, then push up until you are on your toes. Repeat as many times as you need to tire your calves. Again, key is slow and steady. Don’t pump up and down. It may be easier, but the effect is nowhere near the same.

Tip 4) Don’t overwork your leg muscles. Our muscles grow best when subjected to a cycle-wise load: a heavy workout, then a day of rest or just light exercise. To push your maximum jumping ability, you need

the large leg muscles to perform at their peak (and beyond). When overworked, they are unable to deliver that performance, and your jump does not improve despite exercising. A sign of overworking is when your leg muscles ache or burn.

Tip 3) Don’t just jump mindlessly. Focus on jumping completely. With every jump, aim to leap as high as you can. Scientific tests have shown that persistent focus on a physical activity improves the results by 10-20% on average.

Tip 2) Don’t expect results too soon, and never give up. I know several guys who bought expensive plyometric programs or jumpsoles expecting some kind of miracle within a few days. There’s no such thing

though, so once they didn’t see the quick results, their determination sizzled away and their jumpsoles would sit gathering dust. Although there are good programs around, there’s no miracles. The only thing that will radically improve your vertical is tenacity. Exercise a lot. Regularly. Make it your habit. Do it for months. Then – and only then – the really impressive results will come.

Tip 1) Plyometric exercise. You may have heard the word. Basically it stands for making a muscle contract immediately following relaxation, and repeating it many times. Applied to jumping in a basic case, it means that you jump, go down in the knees when you land relaxing your muscles, and immediately jump up again from the crouched position. This is tiring as hell, and for a reason – it puts the maximum stress on the

large leg muscles. If you are not used to it, your legs will probably ache after a few dozen repetitions. However, nothing beats this kind of exercise if you want to improve your jump quickly.

These tips should already get you underway, but they are just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a bunch of other highly effective, yet not so widely known techniques on quickly improving your vertical. Check out

http://www.howtodunk.org for a lot more effective, hands-on info on learning to dunk.

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