Tag: supplements


Photo credit: Philip Au

By Sarah Tan

Recently, there has been a series of road rage incidents and accidents where cyclists were injured badly. While this may deter newbie cyclists from feeling safe on the roads, it had made some of the more seasoned cyclists more aggressive towards drivers, which in turn sparked quite a lot of controversy amongst Singaporean road users.  I, myself had been also involved in an accident about 3 years ago so I do understand the plight of cyclists who have been unintentional victims.

That being said, I do follow a set of principles which I would like to share with you on safe cycling:

  1. Use appropriate hand signals while cycling

Let fellow cyclists and drivers know if you are switching lanes or filtering using hand signals IN ADVANCE so that there is some time for them to react to your movement and slow down if required. Do ensure that you catch the attention of the driver/cyclist before you make a move to prevent any accidents from behind.

  1. Ride on the correct side of the road and in view of drivers

It is strongly advisable to cycle on the double-yellow line if you are alone on a road with heavy traffic so that drivers do not get too angry with you hogging the roads. Ensure that you are not cycling too close to the vehicles as there are blind spots where the driver is unable to see the cyclists to prevent getting side-swept.

  1. Give way to drivers who might seem like they are in a rush and smile

If you do meet an impatient driver or drivers who seem like they are rushing for time, allow them to go first instead of being aggressive. In such a situation, it would not benefit you to show aggression to the driver as the cyclist would usually be on the losing end should there be an accident. Smiling would also help to banish some frustrations built J

  1. Be visible especially while cycling in dark areas

Remember your front and rear lights while cycling late at night or early morning, wear brightly coloured clothing so that you appear more visible to drivers.

  1. Be alert on the roads

It is strongly not advisable to put on earpiece and listen to music while cycling on the roads as it might lower your level of awareness especially when incoming cars horn and distract you from concentrating on the dangers on the road. While Singapore’s roads are fairly smooth, there are potholes, items littered on the roads, large gaps which may cause you a nasty fall if you are not alert while cycling.

Let’s strive to be gracious road users to make the roads friendly and safe for all!

 

About the author:

Sarah is a full-time HR executive doing talent management and an athlete. She was selected to join the national developmental team for cycling and was roped in to be a pilot (guide sitting in front of a tandem bike) for a visually-impaired athlete for tandem-cycling. She is now part of the Paracycling Federation of Singapore as a volunteer pilot for the visually-impaired. If you’re curious and like to find out about how she trains and how Astavita Sports has helped her, follow her journey here!

 

 

By Paul Tan (Owner of Bailey the Golden)

Dogs do have feelings and more often than not, we unknowingly do things that may annoy our furkids.

Here are some of the classics:

HUGS

Typically, dogs get annoyed when being hugged tightly, especially by strangers or children. Unless your dog enjoys being hugged, it’s best to tell friends and family to stick to gentle patting instead.

TEASING

Dogs are like humans and don’t like to be teased. Pulling their tails or ears, moving their food dish while he eats, making a dog chase after a laser pointer can drive a dog crazy. So stay away from such activities.

TOO MUCH ALONE TIME

Dogs are social animals and once they come into the lives of your family, they become part of the pack. Leaving a dog on its own for long hours can create behavioural issues like separation anxiety, excessive barking or destructive behaviour. We always make sure Bailey gets his walks daily regardless of how busy we are. We must treasure the time we spend together and the bond our dog has with us. After all, they will only be with us for less than a quarter of our lifetime.

STARING

Dogs, like us humans, hate to be stared at. To a dog, a stare is seen as a challenge. So never stare into the eyes of an edgy or aggressive dog if you do not want to aggravate a tense situation.

YELLING

When you yell, it is interpreted as angry barking to your dog. Ever notice that when your dog barks, and you shout for him to quieten down from a distance, he just keeps on barking? Always use a deep tone to command your dog to stop his bad or unwanted behaviour. Adjusting your tone works better than volume.

OVERLY ENTHUSIASTIC GREETING

We often encounter people do not know how to properly greet a dog. At times, these folks want to pat Bailey and are overly enthusiastic in their approach, which causes Bailey to react by barking at them.  Some will stare or move their hands unexpectedly towards him to touch him. This usually threatens a dog since they are unfamiliar with you and are not sure what you want to do.

The best way to greet a dog is to greet the owner first instead. During this time, the dog will sniff you and will feel more comfortable after. If the dog seems at ease, ask the owner for permission before patting the dog.

 

About the author:

Paul Tan is the owner of Bailey the Golden, our brand ambassador. Bailey started training for canine obedience competitions when he was 7 months old. He has appeared in several TV appearances, including a commercial with famed dog whisperer, Cesar Millan. Bailey is currently taking Astamate as part of his supplement diet. You may follow Bailey on Instagram: Bailey the Golden.

By Mona Gill

Do yoga for 30 days and trust me it will change your life!

Why? Because..

1) It brings awareness especially to your breathing. I preach it when I teach and it truly does get rid of toxicity and negative emotions, increases energy and decreases your stresses especially at that point in time.

2) 30 days straight because it is a commitment to yourself for yourself and gets you out of your comfort zone. I always say we need to get uncomfortable to get comfortable.

3) It teaches you to be kind to yourself and you do not have to get into the perfect posture. But do set the intention as eventually you will get there. Accept your perfect imperfections as it is more important to show up at your mat and not how you look during a pose as we are all different.

4) Definitely helps with pain management especially for those with back issues and I for one can vouch for that as after I had my baby my back was in so much pain and practicing often helped with pain management rather quickly. But of course do check with your doctor prior to practicing and do it with caution.

5) Elevates your mood and increases energy and even changes the way you carry yourself.

Basically anything that you do consistently for more than 21 days, you will see and notice the changes in your mind set and body.

So try some basic yoga and poses everyday for 30 days to receive and notice the maximum benefits even if it is in the comfort of your own home for 10 – 15 minutes and gradually increase your time. By the end of the 30 days your body will thank you and it will be addictive.

 

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 Paul Tan (Owner of Bailey the Golden)

Dogs of all sizes need exercise daily.  Exercise is based on a dog’s age, breed, size and their health conditions.  On average you should exercise your dog a total of half hour minimally daily.  Brisk walks, jogging, swimming or incorporate with play games like fetch etc.  Breeds like labradors, retrievers and collies require more exercise as they are hunting dogs by nature.

Weather conditions are important consideration for all dogs’ activity.  Dogs can get heat stroke as well.  In our weather, making sure your dog has ample amount of water during and after exercise.

Mental exercise is good to stimulate and keep your dog alert.  Food toys like Kong is excellent for your dog to figure out how to get to his food.  If your hunting dogs are scent driven, you can hide treats around the house and let him hunt for them.  Just sit back and watch the fun!

Dogs, like their humans, enjoy both familiarity and a little variety in their exercise routines.  Most dogs get the chance to become familiar with their neighbourhood during walks and even the humans.  Dog parks are a good space to go off leash for your dog to play and explore freely.  At such spaces is where your dogs get to mingle and be socially friendly with other dogs.  However, there are always exception to other reactive dogs at the playground, so always keep an eye on your dog when he is off leash.   Day care for dogs is another place where they get to exercise and play with fellow canines.  Looking for a reliable one will be the key consideration.

Inactive dogs usually end up overweight, and getting into health problems as they age.  Being overweight brings the risk of health issues like diabetes, joint problems and heart diseases.  Bigger dogs run the risk of hip dysplasia, arthritis and other joint problems.  Being overweight add stress to the joints and ligaments.

So remember to give your dog the exercise they need. A healthy and happy dog makes them a great companion.

 

About the author:

Paul Tan is the owner of Bailey the Golden, our brand ambassador. Bailey started training for canine obedience competitions when he was 7 months old. He has appeared in several TV appearances, including a commercial with famed dog whisperer, Cesar Millan. Bailey is currently taking Astamate as part of his supplement diet. You may follow Bailey on Instagram: Bailey the Golden.

By Paul Tan (Owner of Bailey the Golden)

Closely related to your dog’s diet are the types and amounts of supplements he is getting: these aid in proper bodily functions such as a well-regulated digestive system and optimal muscle growth. Vitamin deficiencies can sometimes cause serious health problems and adverse long-term effects.

A growing puppy requires a special diet to complement its physical development – research and advice from the vet or knowledgeable friends will point you to reputable pet foods that provide high quality ingredients necessary for your dog’s well-balanced meals. Bailey was on kibbles during his puppyhood as we were not experienced in a dog’s nutrition then. We started to prepare home-cooked food for Bailey so that we’d have a better control of his diet, with the assurance that it is preservative-free. We also learnt to pair it with the necessary supplements for his wellbeing.

Most pet owners only start giving vitamins or supplements when their pets are diagnosed with a deficiency, or as part of a treatment requirement. Bailey’s case came about as we recognised he would need a good multivitamin to supplement the nutrients that his home-cooked meals might not adequately meet. Our research on the digestive system also alerted us to the weakening of a dog’s stomach walls and lining whenever it is put on a course of antibiotics or steroids, which in turn affects the dog’s absorption of nutrients. Hence, the search for an effective pre- and probiotic was one of our priorities for Bailey. Probiotics are not only great for a dog’s digestive system but also handy when he has an upset tummy. We’d double-dose the probiotics and the good bacteria sorts the problem out every time.

The next supplement we added to Bailey’s daily diet is Rose-Hip powder. Rose-Hip is an all-natural, plant-based anti-inflammatory and immune system support for treating inflammation, maintaining healthy joints, supplementing nutrition and improving performance. Bailey is an active dog and a supplement like Rose-Hip helps him maintain healthy joints!

The last stop for our research is an antioxidant for Bailey, one that would counter the effects of damaging free radicals in the body. Free radicals, a natural by-product of metabolism and produced in greater amounts when one is sick, elderly, exposed to toxins, or suffer from poor nutrition, attack and take electrons from cell membranes, proteins and DNA. The molecule that loses an electron to a free radical often becomes a free radical itself, continuing the cycle. Here’s where antioxidants come in: they donate electrons to free radicals without becoming free radicals themselves, thus breaking the cycle of molecular and cellular damage. Hence with sufficient antioxidants, our furkids can maintain a strong immune system throughout its life and age in a healthy manner. That’s when we found Astamate, a premium supplement that contains the super antioxidant, Astaxanthin. Within several weeks of consuming Astamate, Bailey’s coat has improved tremendously and those who know him immediately see the difference.

So, when you start looking for supplements for your furkid, look out for what is missing and what is needed. Bailey is a healthy dog and we wanted the right supplements as a preventive measure to maintain his wellbeing. A healthy dog is a happy dog!

 

About the author:

Paul Tan is the owner of Bailey the Golden, our brand ambassador. Bailey started training for canine obedience competitions when he was 7 months old. He has appeared in several TV appearances, including a commercial with famed dog whisperer, Cesar Millan. Bailey is currently taking Astamate as part of his supplement diet. You may follow Bailey on Instagram: Bailey the Golden.

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Image credit: http://www.powerphysiotherapy.com.au/

By Pris Chew

It’s hard to get exercise when you are holding down a full time office job and are tied down to your desk for eight hours a day. Many office workers, due to the hectic nature of their jobs, may lack the time to fit in a regular exercise regime into their hard day at work.

But sitting down for eight hours or more can lead to a myriad of health issues, such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

So then, here are some quick tips on how you can work out and be more active whilst in the office.

1) Use the stairs

Instead of the lift, take the stairs instead to get to the floor where your office is located.

Doing so will help to give you a bit of a workout and burn calories at the same time. In fact, climbing stairs burns five times as many calories as taking the lift.

2) Take stretching breaks

For every hour that you spend sitting, take five minutes off to stretch yourself. This will help to reduce stress and improve your posture and in turn, your productivity, at the same time.

3) Walk

Try to incorporate some form of walking into your day in the office. For example instead of simply eating at the office cafeteria, why not walk over to the cafe or coffee shop at the next block and get your lunch from there instead?

Or else if you drive to work, why not park at the lot furthest away so that you can get in a short walk?

Alternatively for those taking public transport, get off the bus or train one stop away from your office, and walk the rest of the way?

It will help too if you get a pedometer and aim for 10,000 steps per day.

4) Swap your desk chair for an exercise ball

Why not swap your comfortable desk chair with a bouncy exercise ball occasionally?

Doing this will improve your posture and strengthen your core muscles at the same time.

5) “Circuit Training”

Try and come up with a “circuit training” regime that you can do easily in the office.

For example, you can aim to do 10 squats every hour, or target 10 lunges each time you get up to go to the restroom. This will keep you active.

 

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

Image credit: http://themilesrunner.com/

By Pris Chew

My first overseas marathon was the Gold Coast Airport Marathon. I learnt a lot from the experience of running overseas. Based on what I went through, I would like to share some simple tips with you.

Check the weather

Find out what the weather conditions including temperature are like, in the country that you are going to run in. This will help you to pack appropriately, for example, to decide if you need to bring additional jackets or thermal wear.

Pack your own gels and nutrition

Do not rely on the gels and race nutrition provided in the race, especially if you have a sensitive stomach and the brand of gels is something that you have never eaten before. Instead, it is safest to pack your own, as you will be familiar with how the gels react to your body. This will help you to run a good timing too.

Sightsee after the race

It can be very tempting to book tours and sightsee the city upon arriving, but try and hold these off until after the race. This is because being on your feet all day, exploring and looking around, can have an impact on you when you run the race. Don’t risk making yourself more fatigue and in turn affect your race timing.

Do a shakeout run

Shaking out your legs with a run soon after you arrive at the destination is usually good. This is because it is a great way to help you to adapt to the weather and know what it would feel like when you are running the race. This will help you to make last minute changes to your race strategy accordingly.

Run with your essentials

You never know what will happen during a long race such as a marathon: You might get injured or your body may act up causing you to pull out of the race. So, make sure that you have your essentials on you, such as your credit card, cash and your mobile phone. You may need these if something goes wrong.

That’s it, some fine-tuning tips for running in a race overseas. Having said these, racing overseas is still an enjoyable experience which I would highly encourage everyone to experience at least once. Till my 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

By Paul Tan (Owner of Bailey the Golden)

Here are some of the veggies that we feed Bailey. His home-cooked diet contains 70% protein and 30% veggies.

Asparagus

When cut into bite-sized pieces, asparagus makes a healthy veggie option because it contains vitamins K, A, B1, B2, C and E, along with folate, iron, copper, fibre, manganese and potassium. It is a superfood and low in calories.

Broccoli

I‘d like to highlight this vegetable: Broccoli florets contain isothiocyanates, which can cause mild-to-potentially severe gastric irritation in some dogs. Furthermore, broccoli stalks have been known to cause obstruction in the oesophagus.  For these reasons, we have stopped feeding Bailey broccoli. If you want to give broccoli to your furkid, allow him a portion equivalent to only 10% of the total meal. Any more could be detrimental to their health.

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are a wonderful inclusion in your furkid’s meal as they are known for their vitamins – a full suite including A, B1, B6, K and G! It is also a source of manganese, folate, fibre, and potassium.

Carrots

Carrots are an excellent low-calorie snack that is high in fibre and beta-carotene.  This orange veggie is great for your dog’s teeth when taken raw.

Celery

In addition to vitamins A, B, and C, this crunchy green snack contains the nutrients needed to promote a healthy heart and even fight cancer. Celery is also known to be a breath freshener.

Cucumbers  

Cucumbers are especially good for overweight dogs, as they hold little to no carbohydrates, fats, or oils and they can even boost energy levels. They’re loaded with vitamins B1, C, K, as well as potassium, copper, magnesium, and biotin.

Green Beans

Green beans are good for your furkids because of their omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A, C, and K. They’re also a good source of calcium, copper, fibre, folic acid, iron, niacin, manganese, potassium, riboflavin and thiamin, as well as beta-carotene. Essentially, a superpower vegetable for your furkid.

Pumpkin

Feed your dog pumpkin to load him up on fibre, vitamin A and antioxidants! Pumpkin encourages digestive regularity (it alleviates diarrhoea AND can cure constipation) and promotes cardiovascular health. It is great for Bailey’s eyes, skin and coat, and is one of the key ingredients in Bailey’s diet.

Spinach

Spinach is a particularly good option for your dog since it helps fend off inflammatory and cardiovascular issues, even cancer. A great green vegetable choice for your furkid.

Sweet Potatoes

A great source of vitamins A, B6, C, and E, as well as calcium, iron, folate, potassium, copper, thiamine and iron. This root vegetable is a super tasty addition to any furkid’s meal. We would sometimes buy the Japanese sweet potatoes as well.

When cooking for Bailey, other than a good balance of meat and vegetables, we also include small amounts of herbs and spices such as basil, rosemary and turmeric to flavour his food. You’ll be surprised how rewarding it is to see your furkid enjoy the home-cooked meals!

 

About the author:

Paul Tan is the owner of Bailey the Golden, our brand ambassador. Bailey started training for canine obedience competitions when he was 7 months old. He has appeared in several TV appearances, including a commercial with famed dog whisperer, Cesar Millan. Bailey is currently taking Astamate as part of his supplement diet. You may follow Bailey on Instagram: Bailey the Golden.

 

By Paul Tan (Owner of Bailey the Golden)

In this two-part article, we will be sharing the list of fruits and veggies that Bailey has been consuming since puppyhood. This has been tried and tested so it is definitely safe for your furkids!

Apples

Dogs can eat apples and Bailey can attest to it – it’s his favourite! Apples are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, as well as fibre for your dog. They are also low in protein and fat. Just be sure to remove the seeds and core before feeding it to your dog.

Bananas

Consumed in moderation, bananas are a great low-calorie treat for dogs. They’re high in potassium, vitamins, biotin, fibre, and copper. While bananas are low in cholesterol and sodium, their high sugar content makes it more appropriate as a treat, rather than a part of your dog’s regular diet.

Blueberries

Blueberries are a superfood rich in antioxidants which prevent cell damage in humans and canines alike. They are rich in manganese, vitamins C and K, and make great after-meal treats. We often prepare frozen yoghurt cubes with blueberries as after-dinner treats for Bailey.

Mangoes

This delicious tropical fruit is packed with four different vitamins: vitamins A, B6, C, and E. Mangoes are also a great source of potassium and flavonoids (both beta-carotene and alpha-carotene). Mangoes are also known to boost immunity and lower cholesterol levels. Remember never feed with the pit to avoid choking.

Papayas

Papayas are another healthy treat for canines. Like similar fruits, the seeds should not be ingested. Papaya seeds can cause intestinal blockage, and the seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide.

Pears

Pears are a great snack because they’re high in copper, vitamins C and K, and a good fibre source. Cut the pear into bite-size chunks and remove the pit and seeds first as the seeds contain traces of cyanide.

Pineapples

A few chunks of pineapples are a great sweet treat for dogs, as well as an excellent intake of vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that makes it easier for dogs to absorb proteins.

Raspberries

Raspberries are fine in moderation. The antioxidants are great for dogs and its anti-inflammatory properties are excellent for dogs with arthritic conditions. Raspberries are low in sugar and calories, but high in fibre, manganese, and vitamin C. However, they do contain slight amounts of xylitol, which is toxic for dogs, so limit your dog to less than a cup of raspberries at a time.

Strawberries

Strawberries are full of fibre and vitamin C. Along with that, they also contain an enzyme that can help whiten your dog’s teeth as he or she eats them. Strawberries are high in sugar though, so be sure to give these berries in moderation.

Watermelons

Frozen watermelon is yummy! It’s important to remove the rind and seeds first as they can cause intestinal blockage, but watermelon is otherwise safe for dogs. It’s full of vitamins A, B6, and C, as well as potassium. Watermelon is 92 percent water, so it’s a great way to keep your dog hydrated, especially in our humid weather!

Remember that dogs are carnivores and still rely on a largely protein-based diet. Fruits add nutrients and vitamins that contribute to a healthier immune system, but don’t forget that they should only be consumed in moderation.

 

About the author:

Paul Tan is the owner of Bailey the Golden, our brand ambassador. Bailey started training for canine obedience competitions when he was 7 months old. He has appeared in several TV appearances, including a commercial with famed dog whisperer, Cesar Millan. Bailey is currently taking Astamate as part of his supplement diet. You may follow Bailey on Instagram: Bailey the Golden.

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