Tag: anti-fatigue


By Mona Gill

It is the season to be merry and jolly but it can also get very overwhelming and stressful with Christmas around the corner. For many of us, that can send our stress levels through the roofs.

Year end is always an overwhelming time for me and many people I know. As busy as I am, I find that taking care of myself is the most important, so I can be a better mother, daughter and friend.

Here are some tips to ease the holiday stress so we can stay calm, energised, full of love and gratitude this jolly season.

1) Start your day with 20 minutes of moving your body. Instead of rushing through a high intensity workout, do some easy asanas or take a yin yoga class just to slow down and breathe and set the tone for the day.

2) Do some downward facing dogs when you can. This mini inversion relieves stress and encourages blood flow and calms the nervous system. Hold this pose for at least five breaths each time.

3) Lie on your back with your legs up against a wall. One of my favourite positions to keep calm, cool and collected. Stay in this position for about five minutes or even ten minutes and keep your eyes closed . It is important to breathe naturally and keep the lengths of the breaths similar and remember to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.

4) Meditation. This sounds too easy but trust me it is so difficult to do without getting distracted. I recommend starting with ten minutes. The focus should be once again on your breath. Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position or lotus position, palms on your knees facing up, close your eyes and focus on your breathing and try to clear your mind.

5) Tree pose for balancing. Whenever I do this pose it really reminds me to stay grounded during stressful times. We tend to not be balanced when stressed out so this balancing pose is a great reminder and if you fall out just get back into it. The idea is to gain stability and breathe and hold for as long as you can.

Anything that involves conscious breathing as I have mentioned above triggers the parasympathetic nervous system. This conscious trigger helps relax and boost energy. I hope these tips helps you ease some holiday stress so that you can have more fun and enjoy with your loved ones this season.

Namaste

 

About the author:

Mona Gill is a busy mum and an entrepreneur. On top of that, she’s a yoga instructor and skincare expert. Mona is Astavita’s beauty and wellness ambassador. She attributes her stamina to cope with her busy lifestyle and still maintain clear complexion thanks to Astavita Healthy Living Antioxidants and Astarism. Mona extols holistic wellness, keeping a healthy lifestyle and beauty from inside out.  You may follow her on Instagram: mkglife.

By Mona Gill

We all know the benefits of yoga for everyone: Helps improve posture, tones and strengthens our physical body, helps relieve stress and lowering the risk of diseases.

Did you know that yoga is also helpful for mothers who have given birth? Yoga is especially effective after pregnancy. It helps manage postpartum pain and complications and encourages weight loss in a healthy way.

Nonetheless, I would not encourage practising yoga immediately after delivery. Remember your body is your temple so be gentle with it and listen to your body. Give yourself enough time to recover and do not rush to get back into shape. Moreover, to start off, it’s advisable to start with gentle forms for yoga and gradually progress at your own time.

Here, I’m going to introduce a few asanas to start with post pregnancy as below:

Plank

Planks helps to strengthen the abdominal walls which is vital for post pregnancy womb recovery.

Triangle pose

The triangle pose works on obliques and strengthens pelvic floor muscles which undergoes stress during pregnancy due to the weight of the baby.

Chair pose

The chair pose is beneficial as it reshapes the quads and bottoms.  Working on the quads, which is the muscle on the front of your thighs, it helps keep your thighs in shape.

Legs up against the wall

This exercise is simple yet it promotes blood circulation, healing and calms the body.

Bear in mind though, like any forms of physical activity especially postpartum, do consult with your doctor prior to make sure he/she gives you the green light!

About the author:

Mona Gill is a busy mum and an entrepreneur. On top of that, she’s a yoga instructor and skincare expert. Mona is Astavita’s beauty and wellness ambassador. She attributes her stamina to cope with her busy lifestyle and still maintain clear complexion thanks to Astavita Healthy Living Antioxidants and Astarism. Mona extols holistic wellness, keeping a healthy lifestyle and beauty from inside out.  You may follow her on Instagram: mkglife.

By Mona Gill

As a yoga instructor, I often get asked this question “How many calories will I burn during yoga?” My answer is “It depends on the type of classes you practice.”

For myself, I do a variety of classes from Bikram to Hatha and sometimes even a good stretch class. The calories burned will depend on which type of classes you do. For example, a Bikram class may burn around 500 calories as well as other hot yoga classes. A vinyasa flow class can typically burn around 600 calories as it can get challenging with constant movement and can be physically demanding.

One thing to bear in mind though is that we typically burn more calories when we do use larger muscles of the body. For example, when we do a chair pose, squats, warrior poses and lunges, we are engaging the larger muscles of our body and will then burn more calories. A gentle Hatha class can burn around 130 calories to 400 calories. A general rule of thumb to consider in stepping into any yoga class is the intensity of the class, your personal goals, and your intention. I believe it is entirely up to the individual how much you want to challenge yourself in a class.

If you’re already working out or doing some exercises currently, Yoga can be an add on to your current workout program. If you do practice intensely it is a great full body workout, especially with the variety of yoga classes available now, you can even do power yoga using weights and other props.

Whatever classes or workout you go for, I always advise people to practice with care and awareness. It is most important to listen to your body, so that you do not overstretch and injure yourself. Having said that, do keep practicing and stay fit with a healthy diet and adequate rest as well. Till the next post: live well, look good, be happy!

 

About the author:

Mona Gill is a busy mum and an entrepreneur. On top of that, she’s a yoga instructor and skincare expert. Mona is Astavita’s beauty and wellness ambassador. She attributes her stamina to cope with her busy lifestyle and still maintain clear complexion thanks to Astavita Healthy Living Antioxidants and Astarism. Mona extols holistic wellness, keeping a healthy lifestyle and beauty from inside out.  You may follow her on Instagram: mkglife.

 

By Mona Gill

Today I’d like to address this topic because so many of us have this issue. Really, at the end of the day, I always say what you put into your mouth is always going to show up on the surface one way or another. Hair loss is something that concerns me from time to time especially when I do not eat enough and am not very diligent in my hair care regime.

So what causes hair loss and what can you do to help keep your tresses healthy?

  • Skipping meals!

It’s so easy to skip meals especially when we are on the go and do not have a fixed meal plan scheduled. Stock up on nuts as they are so rich in omega 3s and we need that for healthy skin and hair. Try and incorporate more salmon, spinach, goji berries and bananas. These are also foods that are easily available so really, we have no excuses. I’d rather have a banana smoothie than skip a meal as skipping meals causes nutritional deficiencies in the long run and other metabolic issues as well.

  • Stress

If you get too stressed up, it’s really not worth your health. These days I choose to let go. Practicing unattachment helps and find something that helps you eliminate stress. For me it’s yoga and some form of physical activity. So find what works for you and de-stress when you feel the need to.

  • Over-washing our hair

This is a tricky one: over washing dries out our hair and washes out the natural oils our scalp produces but under washing is also an issue as it causes build up and the hair follicles to weaken resulting in hair loss. I reckon every 3 days is a good way to go but if you work-out a lot and sweat a lot, then every 2 days is good enough.

  • Blow-drying

I’m so guilty of this one. It really does damage your hair and causes unnecessary pulling and tugging that causes hair loss. A good way to go would be to air dry your hair and then use a straightener or curler to style your hair. Blow drying wet hair is the worst thing you can do to your hair!

  • Ponytails and buns

Putting your hair up in a tight knot too often can eventually cause your hairline to recede so do change up your style every so often. I like to change my parting often so I don’t recede particularly on one side.

Bonus tip: Recently I found out that neem leaves can be used to treat hair loss and hair issues like dandruff and lice. And it’s simple: Boil the neem leaves, cool and grind into a paste, apply onto hair after shampoo, and rinse.

I have heard of the benefits but I have yet to try it myself. And since this is a DIY I will definitely give it a go and keep y’all posted of the results.

That’s it, easy tips to ensure your tresses are lustrous and healthy. Till the next post, live well, look good, be happy.

 

About the author:

Mona Gill is a busy mum and an entrepreneur. On top of that, she’s a yoga instructor and skincare expert. Mona is Astavita’s beauty and wellness ambassador. She attributes her stamina to cope with her busy lifestyle and still maintain clear complexion thanks to Astavita Healthy Living Antioxidants and Astarism. Mona extols holistic wellness, keeping a healthy lifestyle and beauty from inside out.  You may follow her on Instagram: mkglife.

By Mona Gill

Everyone experiences emotional setbacks at some point in life. And we all know from experience that emotional pain can hurt as bad, if not, worse than physical pain. Due to the duress on our brain when we process negative emotions, this stress may trigger something in our brain that causes us to feel even physical pain.

Negative emotions, if not properly dealt with may affect our ability to relate to others emotionally. Did you know that practicing yoga during times of emotional low can help cope with negative feelings? For a start, yoga quietens the noises in our heads and helps us relax. Just like the body needs rest to recuperate from injury, the mind needs relaxation to release negative emotions.

Through yoga, we can release emotional toxicity whether you are feeling depressed, angry, anxious, disappointed or even confused. Practicing yoga makes us mindful not only of our body but also of our mind. For example, a simple stretch asana during a warm up can expand our range of motion and help our body release emotional pain. Once we’re mindful, we will be able to release the ‘toxicity’ in the mind one by one.

Besides mindfulness, yoga trains us to shift our perspective and thought process. A simple change or movement of our body’s position can send messages to our brain /mind and facilitate a change in perspective. When you change your viewpoint, you’re able to change your mind about the hurt and experience healing.

On top of that, meditation and being aware of our breathing during this difficult /challenging period releases our prata (life-force energy) helping us with the healing process. No matter what you’ve been through, remember: Healing is possible and transformation is necessary for us to move forward in life – to become the better version of ourselves.

Sending love and light,

Namaste

 

About the author:

Mona Gill is a busy mum and an entrepreneur. On top of that, she’s a yoga instructor and skincare expert. Mona is Astavita’s beauty and wellness ambassador. She attributes her stamina to cope with her busy lifestyle and still maintain clear complexion thanks to Astavita Healthy Living Antioxidants and Astarism. Mona extols holistic wellness, keeping a healthy lifestyle and beauty from inside out.  You may follow her on Instagram: mkglife.

By Mona Gill

I tend to get tight and stressed very easily. And the only way I get to let everything go is by coming back to my mat. It is by working through certain postures that help me open, relax and release, letting it all go.

When we do a bind in yoga correctly, we allow our body to relax into the pose and we can hold the pose for longer periods. At first it feels uncomfortable, maybe even slightly painful. As we try and relax into the pose and open up, binding brings about different benefits.

This includes

  • opening of the heart and chest
  • mental balance as it requires focus (You have to be able to try and relax into it as opposed to resisting the pose)
  • massages the internal organs
  • lengthens the spine
  • relaxes tensed muscles

Bear in mind though that not everyone can bind easily therefore props like straps or pillows are recommended for added support. A few types of yoga binds are; bound side angle, dancers pose and bound head to knee.

Binding also promotes flexibility over time so if you are like me, constantly tight from gym and weight workouts, practice binding and eventually your body will thank you.

Be kind to yourself when practicing – never force the pose. Always set an intention, do your best and breathe and release into the pose. That is when you will truly feel and experience the eternal benefits of the pose.

Namaste

 

About the author:

Mona Gill is a busy mum and an entrepreneur. On top of that, she’s a yoga instructor and skincare expert. Mona is Astavita’s beauty and wellness ambassador. She attributes her stamina to cope with her busy lifestyle and still maintain clear complexion thanks to Astavita Healthy Living Antioxidants and Astarism. Mona extols holistic wellness, keeping a healthy lifestyle and beauty from inside out.  You may follow her on Instagram: mkglife.

By Mona Gill

Do you practice yoga mostly in the studio or indoors? Well, to let you in on a little tip, I have been practicing yoga outdoors lately. I found that I enjoy it a little more as there is just something about breathing in fresh air while practicing. Here are my thoughts on why practicing yoga outdoors is beneficial.

1. It increases your body’s awareness.

When we practice yoga in a studio with mirrors (which we usually do), we can see ourselves and adjust our poses accordingly. In the open, there are no mirrors, so you cannot see yourself. However, without mirrors, you can focus more on your body rather than the reflections from the mirrors. This enhances your practice as it takes more focus on really being present.

2. It boosts your confidence level.

It takes a lot of courage to practise yoga outdoors, in public places, such as in the park or gardens. Especially for those who are shy, this really takes them out of their comfort zone and challenges you to embrace something new. But this is when the real positive changes happen so definitely keep working at it.

3. You will feel more grounded.

When I am practicing alone outdoors, I am more connected to the earth and feel more connected to myself. Without other distractions, I can have a better and deeper practice.

4. Feeling invigorated

Practicing yoga outdoors exposes you to fresh air. When there’s fresh air, it is easier to for the body to relax and be really connected mind, body and soul.

5. Increased sense of well being

When connected with nature, people tend to relax more and hence sense of wellbeing automatically increases! Working out outdoors usually leaves me feeling more refreshed, relaxed and light-hearted.

So, what are you waiting for? Get your mat and take a walk in the park and garden or your favourite open space outdoors and let your outdoor yoga journey begin. Till the next post, keep practicing. Namaste.

 

About the author:

Mona Gill is a busy mum and an entrepreneur. On top of that, she’s a yoga instructor and skincare expert. Mona is Astavita’s beauty and wellness ambassador. She attributes her stamina to cope with her busy lifestyle and still maintain clear complexion to Astavita Healthy Living Antioxidants and Astarism. Mona extols holistic wellness, keeping a healthy lifestyle and beauty from inside out.  You may follow her on Instagram: mkglife.

 

by Fai A Gaff

Precursor

I do realise that one can never truly fit this training schedule into your daily life as this would be the ideal schedule for a full time athlete, or someone close to that. What we should keep in mind though, it is good to know what we are competing against and the benchmark there is in terms of training.

What does this knowledge give me?

Well, first, it gives you a reason to know why the elites are that much faster than you are. It isn’t an excuse for you not doing well in the races but it is the honest truth. If you are not training as hard as they are, there is a high chance you would not be able to perform as well as they are. Don’t beat yourself over losing to them. Compete against someone who trains just like you, with your schedule, with your body composition, and with your commitments. Who would that be? The person staring back at you in the mirror, that’s who.

 

What do you need?

Let’s start with something that is truly simple. All you would need to do is to tick off what you do have or pop by a store and get what you do not.

Swim Attire: Swim Suit*, Goggles, Swim Cap (Recommended but not necessary)

Cycle Accessories: Bike that Fits you well (Road Bike Ideal), Cycling Shorts*, Cycling Shoes (Recommended but not Necessary)

Running Accessories: Running Shoes, Water Bottle, Running Tights*

If you have realized the asterisks on the three different attire, that is because you could go for a one stop solution of a tri-suit. One note of caution would be to have more than one of this suit as you would be using them for every single one of your trainings plus the race days too.

How long before the race should I start my fitness regime?

It all really depends on what you want to achieve; are you completing the race or competing? Are you using this as a first race to gauge how you’d do and set the benchmark for the future races or are you going to put in the time and effort to get the best possible result you could? Bear in mind, whichever you chose to do, there will be time and effort needed on your part to do this, even on days you feel like lazing and staying in bed. Let’s start it off with the assumption of wanting to do decently well in the race and that means you should look at starting about 12 weeks prior to the race day.

What are the trainings?

Before we look at a possible training schedule, let’s have a look at what we should do for each of the three events; swim, run, cycle.

Swim

  • Technique Swim: Focus on your stroke technique and breathing. Do laps of the pool
  • Endurance Swim
  • Continuous Swim: (Preferably) Swimming the circumference of the pool and never touching the wall

 

Run

  • Speed Work: Either Hill Runs or Sprint Training, Try to achieve a higher race pace with this
  • With 15 minutes of race pace warm up and cool down for each session
  1. Endurance Work
    1. Consistent yet fast paced running for a continuous period with easy warm up and cool down of 15 Minutes for each session
  2. Cycle
    1. Endurance Cycle
      1. Maintain A high pace for a continuous period
    2. Combination with Run
  3. Strength Training
    1. Legs Workouts
    2. Back Workouts
    3. Mobility Workouts

 

So from the above breakdown, we have 9 different types of workouts. This means that there are days you would expect yourself to be working more than twice a day. Remember, always schedule for a rest day but this day could also be an active rest day where you could have your Mobility Workout done then.

 

Possible Schedule to follow

  • Day 1
    • 30 Minutes Technique Swim
    • Legs Workout
  • Day 2
    • Run Speed Work – 15 Minutes warm up, 30 Minutes Workout, 15 minutes cool down
  • Day 3
    • Cycle and Run Combination – 45 Minutes cycle, followed by 30 minutes run
  • Day 4
    • 45 Minutes Endurance Swim
    • Back Workout
  • Day 5
    • Endurance Cycle of about 1 to 1.5 hours.
  • Day 6
    • Endurance Run of about 1 to 1.5 Hours.
  • Day 7
    • Active rest day
    • Mobility Workout

 

Strength workout and Diet

Needless to say, both your workouts and diet has to be personalized and suited to you. Hence, for this part of the training, you might do well in engaging a professional who could aid you in ensuring the right form, posture and regime for the workout, as well as the target weight and diet for your food intake. You might want to look at getting help from Trainers who are athletes themselves as no one would know what it is like other than an athlete. They would also understand how difficult it is for you to go through the trainings and would help in motivating you.

 

Famous Last Words

As you can see, it will not be easy to hit the top of your game and compete with the elites but it would be a rewarding journey if you do decide to take it up. For those of us having a different goal, stay tuned for the tapered down version of the training while we try to help you achieve the best version of yourself while still ensuring you wouldn’t be falling asleep on your desk!

Scientists in Japan evaluated the anti-fatigue effects of Astavita® Healthy Living Antioxidants (HLA) on mental and physical stresses encountered in daily life. The results showed significantly reduced fatigue and improved test subjects’ condition in many ways.

People who had reported mental and physical fatigue were treated with Astavita® HLA for 8 weeks. Mental and physical stresses were induced by a mental challenge, where individuals were subjected to the Uchida-Kraeplin test (an arithmetic test requiring intense concentration), and the physical component was performed using a bicycle ergometer. Test results and feedback metrics of fatigue were assessed both before and after the stressor tests.

In the calculation test, an increase in errors observed in the control group during the second half of the test was almost eliminated in the Astavita® group. Furthermore, the concentration and clarity feedback reported higher levels when compared to the control group. It is likely that the Astavita group could handle the stress better because biochemical tests conducted on saliva samples also revealed that Astavita® HLA significantly reduced stress-related biomarker called cortisol.

This study suggests that Astavita® HLA is beneficial for people who work under high levels of physical and mental stress. Perfect for professionals, busy-moms, people preparing for exams and many more. For more advice also check out Dr Corish’s holistic approach to combating fatigue here.

 

Reference: Hongo et al., 2016, 32(7):577-91 Journal of Clinical Therapeutics & Medicines

(as featured on SHAPE magazine)

Find out why astaxanthin is our latest health and beauty obsession.

Antioxidants help to combat the harmful effects of free-radical damage, keeping you healthy and beautiful for longer. Now, it’s time to add one more antioxidant into your regime: astaxanthin.

This is a carotenoid pigment that gives certain seafood like salmon, crabs, prawns and lobsters their naturally red colour. It also protects these creatures from harsh environmental conditions. Here’s why you need to make astaxanthin a part of your life.

1 POWER-PACKED

Not many other nutrients can rival the power of astaxanthin – it’s 6,000 times stronger than Vitamin C, 800 times stronger than coenzyme Q10, and 110 times stronger than Vitamin E! Astaxanthin is nature’s most potent and natural form of antioxidant for human use. Astavita contains extracts of high quality natural astaxanthin from Swedish algae (Haematococcus pluvialis).

2 STAY STRONG

Live to your full potential with Astavita Living Antioxidants ($61), a supplement that was developed in Japan and made in USA. Taking just one pill daily will strengthen your immunity and cardiovascular health, improve muscle recovery, combat chronic fatigue and alleviate tired eyes. Best taken after any meal with the highest fat content.

3 GLOW FROM WITHIN

Research has shown that astaxanthin is able to enhance skin fibroblast’s resilience against free-radical damage, reducing the effects of UV-induced photo-ageing and wrinkling. It’s also been proven to help in the reduction of the appearance of scars. Get your dose from the Astarism Facial Serum ($54). Developed and made in Japan, the paraben-free formula is made to penetrate deep into the skin to boost its firmness and elasticity. Expect to see results in 60 days. For increased efficacy, use the supplement and serum together.

*Consult your physician if you are pregnant or breast-feeding to find out if the products are suitable for you.

 

(Content extracted from SHAPE Singapore Feb issue)

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