Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sports bras for better workouts?


The importance of wearing a well fitting sports bra is quite under-rated. While exercising you might just think that exercising right should be high on your agenda, without giving much thought to the kind of clothes you might be wearing.

However, wearing the right sports bra is quite important for women, because a good sports bra offers optimum support while adding to physical ease and comfort - two ingredients that no workout can ever be fun without. Today we're talking about how important the right sports bra is to your workout and what kinds of sports bras are available in markets today.

Importance of a good sports bra
A right fit sports bra helps in making sure that your breasts don't sag after a point of time. Breasts are basically made up of fatty tissue, and too much bounce can lead to the stretching of the ligaments. Sports bras also help in absorbing sweat and keeps you comfortable and dry while exercising. Sports bras hold your breasts in place without being too tight or restrictive. Unlike under-wired bras, and tight straps that dig into your flesh, a sports bra is contoured to meet your body's curves at perfectly comfortable points. It also saves you from upper back pain and shoulder problems.

Different type of sport bras
Available in all sizes, shapes, colours, textures and designs, sports bras also offer different supporting techniques. They are:

Encapsulation bras: These kinds of bras have two separate cups which help in providing firmness and shape to your breasts. They are best suited for D cups sizes.

Compression bras: These kinds of bras help in compressing the breasts against the bra wall which helps in minimizing bounce and movement. They are perfect for women who wear A and B cups size bra.

Compression/Encapsulation bras: Popularly also known as 'combination bras', these kinds of bras are best for C and D cups.

According to fitness expert at Sculpt Gym, Gurgaon, Yashmeen Manak: "A supportive sports bra is very important to avoid damage to the breast tissue during intense exercise. Wearing improper bras can cause sagging of the breasts. Choose a supportive branded sports bra for your type of breast size. If you have large breasts, go for racer back and a thick strap. Women with small and medium chests should look for a comfortable snug fit. The sports bra should fit you well and let you move freely during the exercise. It should not be so tight that it makes you uncomfortable to breath."

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Walnuts help fight stress, lower BP


Walnuts, the brain shaped nuts, cut down cholesterol and may also help fight stress and reduce blood pressure.

Those with high levels of bad cholesterol had lower blood pressure during stressful moments after following a diet rich in walnuts for three weeks. Study participants were told to deliver a three-minute speech or sink one foot in cold water - both of which trigger stress.

Those who ate walnuts had lower blood pressure, said Professor Sheila West from the Penn State University in the US, according to the Daily Mail. "This is the first study to show that walnuts reduce blood pressure during stress. People who show an exaggerated biological response to stress are at higher risk of heart disease," she said.

The team used three diets -- one without nuts, one with walnuts and walnut oil and a third with walnuts and flaxseed oil, according to the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Adding flaxseed oil did not affect blood pressure, but did help create an anti-inflammatory effect in arteries. This could reduce the risk of heart disease, the researchers say.

After each diet, the subjects were asked to take the speech and cold-water stress tests.

Average diastolic blood pressure - the 'bottom number' or the pressure in the arteries when the heart is resting - was significantly reduced for those on diets containing walnuts and walnut oil. West added: "These results are in agreement with several recent studies showing that walnuts can reduce cholesterol and blood pressure."

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Monday, August 1, 2011

Ideal diet before and after your workout!


An effective workout depends on many factors - the most important one being your diet. What you eat before a workout prepares your body for the stress and the meal after that is responsible for muscle building and body repair. Here's what you must keep in mind so as to tailor your meals and maximise your workout.

PRE WORKOUT:

Get the carbs
Give your body a dose of carbohydrates one hour before you hit the gym. Eat a fruit (apple would be ideal). You may also have toast, cornflakes or idlis. You could also just eat a banana for the complex carbohydrates it provides. These foods need comparatively little time to digest, are easy on the body and provide you with maximum energy during the workout. Also, ensure that you drink a glass of water before the workout, so that your body is well hydrated.

Never go hungry
Do not hit the gym on an empty stomach. The stress that exercise has on the body, combined with the lack of sugar (energy) will lead to hypoglycemia, a condition that will make you prone to fatigue.

After a heavy meal
For a diabetic, it is very important to workout soon after a heavy meal. However, normal individuals must maintain a gap of two to three hours between a heavy meal and the workout. The logic is to allow the sugar level in the body to reach an optimum level.

POST WORKOUT:

Use the window
During a workout, the level of cortisol (also known as the destructive hormone) in the body increases, thereby making it prone to infections. That's precisely why the hour just after a workout is known as the 'window period', as it allows for infections to enter the body. Use this opportunity and eat as soon as possible.

Get a drink
The body loses salt due to sweating. That is why it's very important to compensate via a rich source of electrolyte such as ORT.

Have proteins, but...
Do not rely completely on proteins for your supply of energy, as they are far more difficult to digest and take a toll on your kidneys. To aid digestion, make sure you include lots of greens in your meal, as they are rich in fibre.

Create supplements
The body needs a high-protein diet for muscle building. However, relying on supplements is not the answer. The best option for a post workout DIY supplement is to take the watery part of curd (that is very rich in proteins), chop a banana and apple into it and put it in the blender. It's a perfect combination of proteins and carbohydrates. Not to forget, the apple is rich in fibre.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/