Tag: healthy


Article is extracted from “The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Yoga” written by Joanna Thomas.
For a more comprehensive read about yoga, please visit: https://hobbyhelp.com/yoga/

Now that you have a little bit of history on yoga and some insight into what it can do for your health… you’re all ready to waltz into your first class full of knowledge.

But what class should you choose? There are quite a few forms of yoga that are perfect for beginners, and chances are there’s a yoga studio or gym near you that offers at least one.

Let’s discuss a few different types so you can decide what’s right for you!

Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga is a form of yoga that focuses heavily on flowing movement and connecting the breath to the movement. Ashtanga means “eight-limbed” in Sanskrit. You do not need eight limbs to practice it.

A few good points about Ashtanga Yoga…

  • Good for beginners
  • Somewhat challenging poses – encourages flexibility and toning
  • The Ashtanga flow is always the same
  • Repetition makes it easy for beginners
  • Ashtanga is physically demanding, but nothing ridiculous
  • It’s a great work out!

Anusara Yoga

1. Set the Foundation and Open to Grace

This principle asks the student to be in the present moment when beginning their yoga practice. You must be open and receptive to your practice before asking your body for muscle energy. Basically, live in the moment guys. Keep your mind and your body on your mat.

2. Muscle Energy

The muscle energy principle asks for your outer body (skin and bones), to come into harmony with your inner (organs and muscles). This is not as stupid as it sounds. Making every part of your body to work together is what yoga is all about and that is all muscle energy is asking for.

3. Inner – Expanding Spiral

This principle asks for a widening spiral – or widening the back of the body through stretches and breathing. This creates further receptiveness and openness during your practice.

4. Outer – Contracting Spiral

The contracting spiral consists of poses that asks our body to tone, and our minds to strengthen. During this part of your practice, you’ll focus on narrowing the back of your body while toning the front. You’ll add muscle and power to your shoulders and hips.

5. Organic Energy

Organic energy is simply the energy that comes from within. When you are finished with your practice, you should feel good. Whether it’s physical or mental or both, your practice will leave you radiant and empowered.

Through the understanding, even if it’s a vague understanding, of the Universal Principles of Alignment, you can see where you’ll start and end up when choosing an Anusara class.

Iyengar Yoga

Iyengar yoga is a fantastic form of very meticulous yoga, and focuses on the student achieving proper form. If you have to bend and twist your body into painful positions to hit the pose well then so be it!

I’m kidding. Iyengar actually includes a bunch of props to help students get into the perfect position. You’ll achieve full body alignment with the help of yoga blocks, straps and chairs.

I personally love Iyengar Yoga. Although not my favorite form, it’s good to take a class once or twice a month just to work on positioning. Yoga blocks are by far my favorite helper.

There isn’t a ton of cardio in Iyengar, but it’s really incredible how challenged you’ll feel when you’re trying to get yourself into each pose and then stay there. You’ll definitely sweat, and Iyengar is good for any beginner perfectionist.

Hot Yoga (Bikram Yoga)

Celebrities like Kaley Cuoco and Kate Hudson love Hot Yoga, but is it for you? Hot Yoga is just what it.  sounds like…a yoga class held in a hot as heck room.

Before you say no way, let me just say that Hot Yoga is not only really fun, but works up a serious sweat and burns a ton of calories.

Hot Yoga is a form of Bikram Yoga, developed and trademarked by super yogi Bikram Choudhury. Bikram Yoga follows a specific rhythm of the same poses while a typical Hot Yoga class switches up the flow.

Why do they have different names?

Bikram got pretty irate with yoga studios worldwide for advertising Bikram classes but not following the Bikram flow. He handed out a few lawsuits and just like that, Hot Yoga was born. Yoga drama.

Some perks to Hot Yoga:

  • MAJOR calorie burn
  • Super popular and easy to find
  • Good constant flow with pose repetition

Hatha Yoga

For my little unadventurous beginners, we’ve finally reached the perfect yoga form for you! So, the term Hatha is widespread. It refers to any yoga class where the instructor teaches physical poses without focusing only on the mind.

That pretty much describes every yoga class in the world.

If you pick up your local yoga studio schedule, you will probably see a class or two marked as Hatha. Since the term is broad, you may have no idea what class it actually is.

Call to make sure, but typically if a class is labeled Hatha, it will be complete and total perfection for beginners looking for easy breathing and gentle poses. Great for anyone recovering from an injury, Hatha will loosen and lengthen your muscles.

You won’t be very sweaty and your calorie burn will be low but you will feel amazing.

Vinyasa Yoga

Oh, Vinyasa. My absolute favorite form of yoga ever. Coming from me, that’s a big claim to make.

Vinyasa means “to place in a special way”, and refers to the flow of poses that you’ll experience during a Vinyasa practice. You’re technically placing your body in a special way. Clever, right?

Vinyasa classes tend to move at a quick pace, but after one or two beginner classes you’ll be right on the ball. The whole practice exists on fluid movements, and every single movement is linked to breath. You can expect to hear quite a bit of “inhale, exhale” instruction from your teachers. This is a great reminder to breathe and will keep you energized throughout your practice.

Vinyasa has an energy level that you’d find in an Ashtanga class, but the flow of the poses is consistently different. You will leave your Vinyasa class sweaty and feeling great. I have to stress to beginners that during your first Vinyasa class, you might feel a bit unorganized because the flow is so constant. Don’t get frustrated! You will get it, I promise.

 

Restorative Yoga

There are many reasons that people decide to try yoga. If you’re attempting to get rid of some unwanted stress and nervousness, Restorative Yoga is for you.

Restorative Yoga is just what it sounds like. A completely revitalizing yoga practice for body and mind. If you can find yourself an hour long restorative class, I cannot stress enough that you should take it once a week.

This particular form of yoga is so relaxing that it does more for the nerves than a good night sleep or a nap. You regulate your breathing along with stretching your body and muscles.

Here is the best part of Restorative Yoga: You don’t even have to hold yourself up. I know, right?!

Your instructor will provide a variety of objects (blankets, rolls, blocks) to keep you in the passive, comfortable positions that Restorative Yoga is all about.

You can just sloth your way through class and stop at the snack bar for a coffee on your way out. That’s my kind of exercise.

If you’re anything like me, however, you might request that your instructor change the term “Corpse Pose” to “Dead Guy Pose”. It’s just a gentler name and less shocking to hear in such a relaxed environment.

By: Lynnette Koh

We all know the feeling of waking up in the morning after a day of intense training, lying in bed and feeling our muscle ache in our body. Muscle soreness is common post-workout due to the micro-tears that damage the muscle tissues after an intense session. The stress placed on your muscles will cause adaptation in your body and it is only once these muscle tissues are recovered will your body be stronger. Hence you might be training very hard but without adequate recovery, your body is unable to adapt and become stronger. Your recovery is as important as your training! So take it seriously!

Have you had days where it felt like your body have been ran over by a lorry, maybe you tried a new workout or had a very intense training the day before? Some days the soreness and aches are so bad that it affects whatever training you had planned for the next day. So how do you reduce these kind of days? Here are some methods which I rely on to help me recover daily.

Myofascial Release (myo = prefix meaning “muscle”, fascia = soft tissues surrounding our muscles)

If you’re feeling a little indulgent with some spare cash you collected from Chinese New Year, you can go pay for a sports massage. But honestly the cheapest and equally effective way is to release your muscles yourself (self-myofascial release) via foam rolling. Takes a bit more effort on your end but trust me it’ll do wonders in reducing muscle tightness, creating better ROM and also allowing better blood flow for removal of metabolic waste.

Nutrition

Your body requires plenty of fuel so do eat properly – lots of vegetables, and adequate amounts of protein, carbs and fats. I do love my fruits and veggies so I don’t think it’s necessary to take any multivitamins however I do take

  • Iron tablets (apparently I have low hemoglobin levels when I tried to donate blood recently)
  • Calcium (because of my previous spinal injury, and anyway I think it’s a good supplement for females to take to prevent osteoporosis in the future) and finally
  • Astavita Sports which contain natural astaxanthin which helps to reduce muscle fatigue and decrease recovery time

 

Hydration

Carry a bottle around with you so that you drink plenty of water throughout the day to prevent dehydrated muscles and also prevent yourself from buying sugary drinks.

 

Active Recovery

It may seem like such an irony to engage in any form of exercise on your rest day but the best way to recover is to engage in low-intensity exercise like an easy jog or swim rather than spending the whole day in bed, watching Netflix.

Sleep

We all sleep, but how much sleep are you giving yourself? Sure, you can survive on 6 hours of sleep but if you had 7-8 hours, you’re providing your body with adequate time to recover. So give your body the rest it deserves.

Lynnette Koh is a sport climber and an aspiring triathlete. Despite a bad fall which resulted in a spinal fracture, she never gave up her love for sports and got up even stronger than before. She believes that the “impossible can be possible” and enjoys challenging herself. Lynnette consumes Astavita Sports to help her improve recovery from muscle fatigue. You may follow her on Instagram: @lynnettekoh

By Pris Chew

In today’s highly inter-interconnected world, it is commonplace to travel frequently, whether it is for work or vacation.

But because you have to go on a trip, this is not an excuse to pig out, enjoy your destination city, and simply leave your fitness routine at home in the process.

So then, here are some tips on how to maintain your fitness routine when you embark on your next trip.

Pack in workout gear

If you pack some workout gear into your luggage, you will be able to do a workout, regardless of whether there is a gym at the hotel you are based at.

For instance, running clothes and shoes, skipping ropes and resistance bands will not take too much extra space in your luggage, and are there if you need to fit in a quick workout during your day.

And with your workout shoes in your luggage, this also serves as a reminder to you to get moving and get that workout in when you reach your destination city and open your luggage up.

Exercise before the day starts

It may be hard to get out of bed after a late night with colleagues, but sometimes this may be the only time that you have during the day to get your workout in. So try and pull yourself out of bed just half an hour early to say, run on the gym treadmill.

If there is no gym in your hotel though, then you can just exercise in your hotel room. There are so many exercises that you can do without leaving your room, such as bodyweight squats and lunges, burpees, mountain climbers and so on, and all of them will work up a good sweat after just 10 to 15 minutes when done correctly.

Wear a fitness tracker

Having a fitness tracker on will make you more aware if you have not gotten your workout in during the course of the day, and you may find yourself more eager to get in that run before the end of the day due to this. As well, when you are exploring your destination city and what it has to offer, a tracker around your wrist, is also a good way to track how many steps you are taking throughout the course of the day.

Attend Fitness Classes

Sometimes it may be good to check out what are the exciting new fitness classes in your destination, perhaps by asking your hotel concierge what they have to offer, or if there are any gyms around that you can check out on a guest pass.

In addition to getting your workout in, this may also be a great way to try out different types of workouts that you usually do not do back at home.

Conclusion

After reading through this article, I hope that these tips have inspired you to keep up your exercise regime when you are travelling, in your bid to stay healthy and fit.

 

About the author:

Priscilla Chew is the winner of Best Health & Wellness Blog at the 2015 Singapore Blog Awards. Pris is Astavita’s sports ambassador. She attributes her stamina to cope with her running lifestyle with the help of Astavita’s Sports. She hopes her passion for running and sports will inspire other people to exercise on a regular basis for fitness and health. You may follow her on Instagram: prisgooner

Or is it not really a secret?

By Mona Gill

What are the secrets to a healthy long life? Is there a magic pill? Or is it living an overly cautious life by killing ourselves with crazy amounts of exercise and counting every calorie that goes into our mouth?

Well, here are my thoughts.
1) Diet :- Everything in balance. I do not believe in low-fat, non-fat, skimmed, sugar-free and guilt-free products. Wholesome, nutritious, full fat foods are necessary for you and your brain!

Our brain craves fat rich foods to prevent disorders such as ADHD, Dementia, and Alzheimers.

Increasing amounts of fats in our diets can protect our most valuable organs. So please drop the low-fat and skimmed stuff. It’s going to leave you “hangry” most times!!
2) Activity :- What is your lifestyle like? Do you have an active lifestyle?

It is so important to find an activity that you enjoy. It increases the quality of your life and lifespan. What motivates you? Golf, yoga, running, tennis? It can be anything!

You do not have to limit activity to working out to sports and volunteering. The act of giving back as well has been proven to lower the likelihood of dying early.
3) Social Life :- This is something  I can vouch for! A good, healthy and positive social life definitely is important for a quality life. Having support from people you can count on, like family, friends, partners or bffs also reduces loneliness, depression, anxiety and stress.
4) Attitude :- A positive attitude in life does help with longevity. You have to be grateful and appreciate all you have in your life. Appreciate the good people you are surrounded with and count your blessings, even the minor ones. Make the most of your everyday and try and not let the small stuff get to you.

I came across this reading by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev.

He had said “Just loosen up your life a little bit, laugh a little more, involve yourself with people around you. Do things that you think is not so important. Do simple things . Very important to do simple things because the very important things we do in life will become dead serious. Don’t be dead now. A time will come, now it’s time to be alive. Your life is just play “
It simply means, don’t take life so seriously and live your life to the fullest!

Namaste

Mona Gill

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 /yogamonadollsup

Image Credit: https://www.sbs.com.au/food/article/2017/01/13/savoury-treat-singaporeans-will-queue-over-hour

By Pris Chew

Chinese New Year is upon us soon. For many people here in Singapore, the Chinese New Year festival means getting together with our relatives and friends over food and snacks.

However, while it is definitely good to catch up with relatives and friends, we also do need to watch our health, our weight and check that we have enough sleep during Chinese New Year – to avoid tiredness and piling on the kilos.

So here are a few tips that you may want to follow, to look after your health better, during the Chinese New Year.

1) Hydrate

Water has zero calories, making it the ideal beverage to drink more of this, during this festive season.

And additionally, taking in more water than usual, can also help to flush out any waste products accumulated from the constant feasting on the yummy but sinful goodies.
So try to keep a bottle of water with you, at all times.

2) Portion Control

Practising portion control is important during the Chinese New Year season because if you don’t watch how much you are eating, you will very easily put on weight.

So for example, limit yourself to one pineapple tart per household you are visiting, and not one jar of those pineapple tarts.

3) Do not visit on an empty stomach

Try to eat something healthy in between your visiting rounds to fill yourself up, so that you will not be feeling hungry at your relatives’ or friends’ house.

This is because being hungry will only set you up for disaster as you’ll end up chowing down the unhealthy snacks that are available.

4) Work Out Where Possible

Chinese New Year should not be a time to forego your workout regime. Try to work out whenever you find the time to during this season as a way to offset the eating.

If you really do not have time to wake up earlier than usual say, for a run, try and work the exercise into your day.

For instance, park your car further away from the house you are visiting so that you’ll have to walk there. Or take the stairs instead of the lift if you are choosing to take public transport. Getting off the bus or train one stop further away from your destination also helps.

5) Sleep

It may be hard to sleep when you are busy seeing your relatives or friends all day, but try and get as much sleep as possible, even if that means catching cat-naps or sleeping in the car or bus in between visiting rounds.

If you are the designated driver, why not ask your spouse or partner to do part of the driving, so that you can get a nap in the car?

Conclusion

With these tips in mind, I hope that this year, you can have a happy and healthy Chinese New Year festive season, with the opportunity to indulging in good food and catching up with relatives and friends – and at the same time, without emerging from it worse for wear.

 

About the author:

Priscilla Chew is the winner of Best Health & Wellness Blog at the 2015 Singapore Blog Awards. Pris is Astavita’s sports ambassador. She attributes her stamina to cope with her running lifestyle with the help of Astavita’s Sports. She hopes her passion for running and sports will inspire other people to exercise on a regular basis for fitness and health. You may follow her on Instagram: prisgooner

By Pris Chew

Have you been trying and struggling to lose weight for some time now?

If you are grappling with trying to lose weight, you are not alone. In fact, according to statistics by the World Health Organisation, worldwide obesity has trebled since 1975. As of 2016, more than 1.9 million adults around the world are overweight and out of these, 650 million are obese.

Overweight and obesity are measured with the Body Mass Index, which is a simple weight for height measurement that is used to classify how fat you are.

So if you are amongst the 1.9 billion overweight adults and you are looking to do something about it, then here area some simple weight loss tips that actually work.

WEAR A BELT

By wearing a belt and tightening it to your natural waistline, you will find that the belt may tend to feel tight after meals. Do not adjust it. The belt feeling tight is a sign that you need to stop eating and put down your utensils.

WEIGH YOURSELF DAILY

This has physiological effects on a person because you do not want to see the numbers on the scale increasing. So by taking your weight every day, you will find yourself taking smaller portions of food or being more active throughout the day, and end up keeping the weight off.

TAKE MORE FATS

This may sound counter intuitive but compared to carbohydrates, fat makes you feel full and keeps you feeling satisfied for longer, so you are less likely to overeat. So if you are feeling hungry about an hour after a meal, this is a sign that you do not have enough fat in your diet. So try and get more healthy fats which are found in nuts, avocados and fish such as salmon.

SHARE YOUR WEIGHT LOSS GOALS IN PUBLIC

By posting your weight loss goals onto social media and telling everyone about it, this will make you feel more motivated and accountable to achieve your targets, and so you are thus more likely to lose weight.

EAT MORE CHILLI

Chilli contains a component called capsaicin, which temporarily speeds up metabolism after ingestion, and thus helps you to burn calories at a faster rate. So why not add chilli to your food more often?

SLEEP WELL

If you are not sleeping well, you are more likely to feel hungrier and as a result, you will make unhealthy food choices. So if you make sure that up you get about seven to eight hours of quality sleep every night, this will help you to control your urges to snack on unhealthy foods such as candies and chocolate.

 

About the author:

Priscilla Chew is the winner of Best Health & Wellness Blog at the 2015 Singapore Blog Awards. Pris is Astavita’s sports ambassador. She attributes her stamina to cope with her running lifestyle with the help of Astavita’s Sports. She hopes her passion for running and sports will inspire other people to exercise on a regular basis for fitness and health. You may follow her on Instagram: prisgooner

By Pris Chew

So you have decided to do something about your fitness levels and you have signed up for a gym membership to take action.

But on your maiden visit to the gym, the first thing that you see are buff and toned guys and gals strutting their stuff.

Naturally you may feel self-conscious and clueless in front of them.

Trust me – I know exactly how that feels. I have been in the same situation before.

Here are some tips on how you can eliminate those nerves and feel more comfortable about your first trip to the gym.

1) Join A Class

If you don’t really know what to do at the gym, signing on for a class is a great way to begin. This will get you familiar with how the gym works and you can learn a few exercises while you are at it, too.As well, doing a class may even help you to meet new fitness kakis, whom you can then jio for future gym sessions.

2) Find Workout Buddies

Having workout buddies will help you at the gym, as you can motivate each other, and as a result, you’ll find yourself looking more forward to your gym sessions.

It will help if your buddy is of a similar fitness level to you, too, in order to build your confidence at the gym.

Personally, I have found that having workout buddies definitely helps me to stay more driven to keep up with my fitness sessions, as we hold each other accountable to turn up for the session and then to get the workout done.

3) Get A Trainer

If you need some guidance at the gym, another great way to do so would be to get a personal trainer, who will help you feel comfortable during your time at the gym.

And as well, he or she will also prescribe you with some exercises to do, based on your current fitness levels. This should help you to build some gym confidence also.

4) Have A Plan

Knowing what to do before you set foot in the gym will definitely help you to figure out what to do when you get there.

For example, do you want to do cardio or are you going to head for the strength training equipment?
This will help you to narrow down the type of equipment that you want to use, so that you can head straight there purposefully and confidently.

The last thing you want is to enter the gym and then find yourself walking around aimlessly, uncertain of how to progress.

For me, I always make sure that I have a plan when I head out for my workouts, and this helps me to make the most of the time that I have available to me, in addition to getting my workouts done purposefully and with a goal in mind.

If you are new to strength training, I would suggest that you begin with body weight exercises such as squats and lunges, rather than plumping straight for the weights – and making a fool of yourself in the process.

Conclusion

Now, with these tips in mind, I wish you good luck for your fitness journey ahead and I hope that these tips will help you to feel more purposeful, driven and confident at the gym.

 

About the author:

Priscilla Chew is the winner of Best Health & Wellness Blog at the 2015 Singapore Blog Awards. Pris is Astavita’s sports ambassador. She attributes her stamina to cope with her running lifestyle with the help of Astavita’s Sports. She hopes her passion for running and sports will inspire other people to exercise on a regular basis for fitness and health. You may follow her on Instagram: prisgooner

By Pris Chew

You may have a regular exercise routine and a healthy diet, but somehow you are finding that the weight is still not going down.

Here are some simple habits that you can include into your daily routine to increase your rate of fat burn. If you are trying to lose that stubborn 1kg that’s left to get to your ideal weight, then the incorporation of the habits below, into your daily routine, may just be the solution that you might need.

1) Keep Moving Around

By simply moving around – doing movements such as tapping your feet, constantly changing your sitting position or standing and walking around every hour, or even stretching on a regular basis – you will be expending more energy than someone who simply sits still like a log, and therefore will be burning more calories at the same time.

2) Sleep More

By sleeping more, this helps to suppress those cravings for midnight snacks. From my personal experiences, I have found that when I get regular sleep, my body is less likely to crave for sugary snacks at odd hours. But when I am lacking sleep, my body wants that instant sugar boost, so it starts to hanker for sweet or sugary things at weird times of the day. Try to get about eight hours a night – that is the recommended amount of sleep for an adult.

3) Expose yourself to the cold

Try not to wear that sweater next time you are in a cold movie theatre or chilly environment if you want to burn more calories.

Personally I find this to be true from my own experiences. When I am in a cold environment, I tend to get more hungry as compared to when I am somewhere warm. This is a sign that my body is burning more calories when I am cold.

4) Laugh More

Have you ever wondered why you feel as though you need to catch your breath after a laughing fit? I have certainly felt this way – after a few minutes of laughing fit, the feeling that I get is similar to the feeling after completing high intensity exercises for about five minutes. This is a sign that laughing is burning calories. So why not simply do a lot of laughing during the day?

Grinning when you next use the bathroom scale

As you can see, these are quite easy tips to follow, and might just mean the difference between successfully losing that 1kg or 2kg of stubborn fat to reach your goal weight. For a healthy adult, including these fat burn habits into your daily routine, could be the difference between gradual weight gain versus weight maintenance.

So why not try some of these tips, and you will be grinning widely when you stand on the bathroom scale next time.

 

About the author:

Priscilla Chew is the winner of Best Health & Wellness Blog at the 2015 Singapore Blog Awards. Pris is Astavita’s sports ambassador. She attributes her stamina to cope with her running lifestyle with the help of Astavita’s Sports. She hopes her passion for running and sports will inspire other people to exercise on a regular basis for fitness and health. You may follow her on Instagram: prisgooner

By: Bert Grobben

In today’s urban city environment, we all face endless opportunities and seemingly also endless challenges. Living in one of the most exciting places in the world, at least for me, is an absolute thrill simply because this is the place where I can do what I love to do. On this journey there will always be demands and requirements imposed on us that we just have to deal with. And some we actually don’t. On the wrong side of trying to keep a balance between what I absolutely need to do and what is ‘optional’, I can feel pressured, anxious, unclear, uncreative, restless, … in short, stressed. And what I dislike about stress, is that this is a situation that might seem like a never-ending vicious circle. In the past, I would actually be good at stressing myself out even more by getting stuck in a mindset that perpetuates an unbalanced situation.

So how do I tackle stress these days. First of all, and this may sound like a cliché, I have learned the signs of when I am stressed, versus being at peace, or versus being even more stressed than usual. Sometimes you don’t even recognize you went off track, as slow changes over time go unnoticed. So being able to self-diagnose is important. Once I call myself out, I can take a deep breath and tackle the problem.

It’s also key to recognize the difference between short term stress and long term stress, and that solutions for each of them are likely different. You just don’t go on a chill holiday when the house is on fire.

Short term stress I address head on these days by:

• Listing down what’s on my mind, and separate items between what I can control, and what I cannot control. There is no point to stress about things I cannot control, so for these items I rationally come up with a plausible action plan to tackle whatever it is. I say ‘rational’, because emotional bias often is a barrier towards seeing a solution.

• Making a To-Do list. I keep a notebook next to my bed and a task manager app on my phone. A simple thing as writing down a task, and ticking it off later, helps a lot. Even late at night, when my brain is still spinning, noting down my thoughts works very relaxing. I know it’ll be right there when I wake up, so I can stop noodling about it.

• Breaking the mental status quo. I can break the mental barrier that comes with short term stress by making changes in my environment.
– Putting on the music I love helps a lot in creating a positive mindset and boost my energy levels. There is nothing music can’t make better for me. I use headphones, and not speakers, as these allow me to block out my surroundings for a while (no matter where I am), and mentally zoom in without distractions.
– Change my physical surroundings. Going to an open space like an outdoor café, a park, or just sitting at the pool opens up my mind and helps me see things in a different light (literally). I stopped assuming that doing the same thing, at the same place, in the same environment promotes change. Like now, I am not writing this blog at home or in the office. I’m writing from my favorite outdoor coffee shop.
– Eat and drink. I need to keep my brain functioning well by drinking at least 2-3L water throughout the day, and eat to fuel my body. I won’t go into much more detail here and nutrition and hydration is a whole topic in itself.
– Taking a break. Getting my blood flowing always helps in destressing. I feel better after a run, a swim or a bike session. The harder I push, the better I feel. That energy rush, and the endorphin kick, changes my mindset right away.

• Getting help. Face it, we can’t handle the world on our own, so sometimes we just need to ask for help. And yes, as a typical man, I tend to think I have to do stuff on my own, and I will always try first. But eventually I’ll ask for help. But when asking for help, I try to be mindful not to share the problem and offload, but really fix the issue and share the solution.

Tackling long term stress is a whole different ballgame. For now, I make choices that help me become healthier and stronger over time. Whatever the future holds, I will be in a better position to deal with it when I look after myself first. That’s why I do my sport, because when I am physically fit, my mind is also fitter. I look after my diet because when my nutrition is well balanced and healthy, my whole being changes for the better. There are no quick fixes for these 2 areas, so I focus on creating a lifestyle that promotes health first.

 

About the author:

Bert Grobben is an Ironman finisher and the founder and CEO of a company, on top of being a full-time father. He leads by example to inspire others to reach their goals. Living by the motto “Anything is Possible”, he believes in putting his mind and take the choices to channel his actions and energy towards his passion and goals. Bert is taking Astavita Sports to aid him in his endurance and recovery. You may follow him on Instagram: bert_im

By Pris Chew

Everyone can cycle. It is a life skill that we are all taught usually when we are children. But it takes effort to go from casual cycling to a race and even to take part in a triathlon. You need to change your mind set about cycling. Here are some quick tips for you to gear up for the bike leg of the triathlon.

Buy a bike

If you need the motivation to train for a triathlon, investing in an entry-level road bike would be a good place to start. A second-hand one would be good enough if you don’t feel the need to get a brand new one. As well, having a bike at home will give you the incentive to get out there and train, as compared to borrowing one.

A triathlon bike is not necessary unless you are keen to take part in triathlons  on a regular basis. These bikes are expensive and probably not advisable to invest in for those who are unsure if they want to commit to this sport for the long term.

Increase the frequency of your rides

If you have been cycling casually once a week all this while, you will need to increase the routine to two or three times a week; if you have a triathlon on the cards. This will give you the chance to do longer bike workouts and at the same time, increase the intensity of your bike rides.

Vary your efforts

As a casual cyclist, you will probably be used to easy riding along the park connectors or flat paths. When training for a triathlon, you will need to incorporate these easy rides too, into your training, but at the same time, you must include hard ones as well, and introduce some hill training into your bike rides, in order to build some strength in your legs.

Bike Handling Skills

As a triathlete, you will need to improve your bike handling skills too. Bike handling skills include being able to shift gears quickly, descend downhill and navigate corners. Try to join a triathlon club and watch how the more experienced riders do it so you can learn from them. You must also learn how to change a flat tyre, as this skill may come in useful one day.

There you have it! Four top most important factors to consider if you’re serious to go the whole nine yards into doing a full triathlon. Till the next post, keep training.

 

About the author:

Priscilla Chew is the winner of Best Health & Wellness Blog at the 2015 Singapore Blog Awards. Pris is Astavita’s sports ambassador. She attributes her stamina to cope with her running lifestyle with the help of Astavita’s Sports. She hopes her passion for running and sports will inspire other people to exercise on a regular basis for fitness and health. You may follow her on Instagram: prisgooner

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