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Things to Remember If You’re A Newbie at the Gym

At some point in your life, you might consider improving your physique or overall physical fitness. You think about going to the gym but just the idea of it already scares you. For one, everybody else there is already fit and you still have a big belly or maybe you’re on the very-skinny side of the spectrum.

The thing is, these are just limits you put on yourself! So, here are some things to remember before or as you step into the gym.

Invest in a good gym

Most gyms in Singapore actually offer great services and quality equipment for a decent price, so this won’t be much of a problem. Investing in a good gym will give a lot more motivation than you think. By paying for a membership, you’re already being responsible for yourself.

You don’t want to waste that money by not going to the gym! Plus, more expensive gyms usually have good trainers. As a beginner, having a good trainer to teach you will be very important. Of course, this doesn’t mean gyms on the cheaper side don’t have good coaches.

Know proper gym etiquette

One of the most important things to remember is gym etiquette. There are unwritten rules in the gym and you won’t really know about them on your first day. So, try to observe what’s going on in your first 2 weeks.

An obvious one, though, is to wipe the benches or machines after you use them. Another is not to stay in front of a person who’s observing his form in the mirror. Just make sure to listen to your trainer and not joke around. 

Don’t be intimidated

As said earlier, one of the biggest factors that hinder a person from going to the gym is fear. They feel embarrassed about themselves because everybody else is already fit. Actually, someone who would think like this makes it obvious that he has never gone to a gym before.

Take a peek in a gym and you’ll see that not everybody is fit! Beginners like you will clearly not have the same physique as a seasoned gym-goer. Of course, if you don’t step in the gym and do work, you won’t get the same physique as them. 

Do what you enjoy

This isn’t only for the gym but for your physical fitness as a whole. Just do something that you really enjoy whether it be bodybuilding at a commercial gym, CrossFit in a CrossFit box, or running around a park. If you’ve been weightlifting for quite a long time and just started taking an interest in cycling, by all means, try cycling! Remember, if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you won’t last with it at all. 

Diet Guide for a People with Hypertension

Coming up with a diet plan if you’re hypertensive will help maximize the effect of the medications you’re taking to control your blood pressure. But dieting doesn’t just mean eating a small serving of food, because that will have a negative impact on your overall health.

The goal of a diet plan is to reduce the risk of heart attack and other complications that arise from your condition. However, you need to remember that there is no one diet plan for everyone, so consult your dietitian about coming up with healthy meals and treat this only as a general guide.

Factors You Can and Can’t Control

Hypertension is a disease that can be treated but not cured, which means that you will have to live with the condition for the rest of your life. But like all chronic illnesses, there are factors you can control to keep your blood pressure level at normal.

You cannot control your age or the manifestation of cardiovascular diseases in your family, but you can control your cholesterol levels, blood glucose levels, and weight. A hypertensive patient’s diet is not just about eating healthy and exercising regularly, but how to eat properly without losing important nutrients and knowing how much exercise you need.

Your Diet Should Be Complete

You will have to cut down on your intake of certain types of food if you’re hypertensive, but you should still have a complete healthy meal, so that your body gets all the nutrients it needs. Your meals should have fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, nuts and legumes, non-tropical vegetable oils, and skinless poultry and fish.

Adequate Salt Intake for a Hypertensive

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the recommended daily intake of salt should be limited to less than 5 grams. While there are other factors in your diet and lifestyle that can affect your blood pressure, doctors point to salt as the primary suspect. But why does salt affect your blood pressure significantly?

Too much salt in your food will increase the amount of sodium in your blood, resulting in the inability of your kidneys to keep up with its task of removing excess water. If your body needs to work harder than it should to remove excesses, this puts a lot of pressure on the heart to pump more blood to deliver to the organs.

Eat and Drink Everything in Moderation

If salt can do that to your body, then the same can be said for high levels of fat and sugar. Avoid food that have saturated fat, trans fat, added sugar, sweeteners, and vegetable shortenings. You will also be advised to lose weight or maintain an ideal weight to prevent complications like diabetes, joint problems, and others. Lastly, cut down on portions of food gradually until you get used to smaller portions in every meal, choose low-fat or dairy-free products, and always read the labels of food in groceries.

8 Smoothie Recipes to Help You Lose Weight

The best way to start your day is to eat a full, healthy breakfast, but if you don’t have enough time to cook a meal, you can make delicious smoothies that only takes a few minutes to prepare. Here are healthy smoothie recipes for those trying to lose weight.

Banana and Coffee Smoothie

Ingredients: 1 ½ banana, 1 cup brewed and chilled coffee, 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, 2 teaspoons honey, 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds, ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 6 ice cubes

Preparation: Combine all the ingredients in a blender then pulse until smooth. Serve immediately.

Oatmeal and Peaches Smoothie

Ingredients: ¼ cup oatmeal, 1 cup peach slices, 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 cup almond milk

Preparation: Combine all ingredients in a blender then pulse until smooth. You can also use a peach-flavored yogurt instead of plain yogurt.

Mango and Coconut Smoothie

Ingredients: ½ cup mango, 1 cup coconut milk, ½ teaspoon flaked coconut, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, and 2 tablespoons chia seeds

Preparation: Combine all ingredients except the flaked coconut in a blender then pulse until smooth. Sprinkle with flaked coconut to serve.

Green Protein Smoothie

Ingredients: 1 banana, 2 cups mixed greens, 1 tablespoon almond butter, and ½ cup unsweetened almond milk

Preparation: Combine all ingredients in a blender then pulse until smooth. Alternatively, you can also use the following ingredients: 1 banana, 2 celery stalks, 2 cups spinach, 1 cup water, ¼ cup pineapple, and 1 kiwi.

Apple and Kale Detox Smoothie

Ingredients: ½ cored apple, 1 ½ cups kale, 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 celery stalk, ¾ cup ice, 1 tablespoon ground flax seed, and 1 teaspoon honey

Preparation: Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth. For an unsweetened variety, you can omit honey.

Avocado Smoothie

Ingredients: ½ avocado, 1 ½ cups apple juice, 2 cups stemmed kale or spinach, and 1 unpeeled and cored apple

Preparation: Puree ingredients in a blender until smooth. Add water if necessary.

Grape and Blueberry Protein Smoothie

Ingredients: ½ cup red grapes, ½ cup blueberries, 1 beaten egg, 1 banana, 3 ice cubes, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and ¼ cup orange juice

Preparation: Cook scrambled egg on a skillet until fluffy then let cool for a few minutes. Combine all the ingredients in the blender including the scrambled egg then pulse until smooth.

Vanilla Chai

Ingredients: ½ scoop vanilla protein powder, ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk, ¼ cup brewed and chilled chai tea, ½ banana, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ tablespoon unsalted almond butter, and water

Preparation: Combine all ingredients in the blender then pulse until smooth. Add water until desired consistency is achieved.

Five Common Sports Injuries and How to Avoid Them

Many people in Singapore love to take part in different sports and physical activities during weekends, such as running and cycling, as well as sports like basketball and tennis. However, not many people keep in mind that it’s just as important to stretch and prepare their bodies before any intense physical activity. Because of this, injuries are more likely to happen, even among experienced athletes and physically fit people.

Here are five of the most common sports injuries and how you can prevent them when you’re outdoors:

Pulled muscles

A muscle is considered pulled when a large amount of force is applied to it in an instant, which causes the fibers to stretch beyond their normal capacity. This often happens to hamstrings and calf muscle areas. The best way to prevent a pulled muscle before or during physical activity is to make sure to stretch during warm-up and cooldown, and resting if you feel exhausted.

Sprained ankle

Most physically active people have had their share of the sprained ankle, where the ligaments on the outside of the ankle are stretched and torn when the foot is turned inward. Sprained ankles often happens to people who are not used to extensive physical activity, so maintaining a regular active lifestyle along with a doctor or physical therapist can help you prevent any loss of flexibility or strength.

Groin and pelvic injuries

Too much force placed on your groin or thigh can result in injuries in these particular areas, and this is common for frequent runners or for players in sports that have a lot of jumping, such as soccer or basketball. Proper warm-up exercises and stretching can help prevent these types of unwanted injuries, and while adding ice and rest is often enough to alleviate the pain, some instances may require surgery if the damage is severe enough.

Runner’s knee

Various injuries and knee pain after intense physical activity usually fall under the blanket term “runner’s knee”, but this condition is not unique to runners. Aside from warming up properly and giving your knees enough rest after intense physical activity, it’s also important to build up your knee strength to avoid overstraining and tendinitis.

Tennis elbow

Overuse of the arm and forearm can lead to wear and tear of the tendons in the elbow, as well as tenderness in the said area, and this is common for many tennis players that use the backhand swing. Preventing this condition, which is especially important for tennis players, involves a proper warm-up with wrist exercises to help strengthen the muscles around the elbow. You can also achieve the same effect by squeezing a stress ball before practice.

Migraine-Proof Your Home with These Tips

What makes migraine so difficult to treat is that each episode has a different set of triggers and symptoms, so the treatment has to be tailored to their specific needs. Along with medication and lifestyle changes, you can avoid triggers at home by making it migraine-proof with the following simple steps.

Make your bedroom safer. If you are not getting enough sleep you are more likely to have attacks. There might be some distractions in your bedroom that keep you from sleeping peacefully. These could be your computer, gadgets, a partner who snores, clutter, etc. Check your beddings, too. Use a quality mattress with the most comfortable pillows you can find.

Remove gadgets that produce blue light. Do not place your computer or television in your bedroom because these produce blue light and flickering lights that can trigger an attack.

Change your lighting. Switch to green lighting, dim incandescent bulbs or install dimmers for the lights if light is a trigger for your migraine. Just turning them off will not change anything and will only make it more difficult for your eyes to adjust to the brightness once you go out of your house.

Soundproof your home. It is easy to hear neighbors making a lot of noise if you live in an apartment in Singapore. You can eliminate noise outside by soundproofing your home. You should also place rugs on the floor and drape your windows to reduce noise from downstairs or from the traffic outside.

Follow a regular cleaning schedule. Even allergens can be triggers for migraines for some migraineurs, so make it a point to clean your home weekly by washing the windows, changing the beddings, and vacuuming the floor. Get your air conditioner serviced regularly, too. Installing an air cleaner and a dehumidifier might also help. You can also place microfiber encasements on your mattress and pillows.

Use fragrance-free products. They might be more difficult to find that popular brands, but they do exist. There are laundry detergents, cleaners, sprays and other home chemicals that are odor-free.

Remove items that cause stress. If you do not need it, then there is no reason to keep it. Your home should be a place where you can relax, not add more stress. These can be anything that might trigger migraines such as items with allergens and anything that eliminate strong smells.

Place plants in your home to improve air quality. Humidity and ventilation play a significant factor not just in preventing migraines but in your overall health and peace of mind. Along with a humidifier and air cleaner, you can place indoor plants to improve the air quality. However, you should pick plants that do not produce flowers or emit any strong odors.

What Causes Pain in the Back of the Knee?

The most common joint problems among the elderly in Singapore are in the knee and hip joints, but there are also those who suffer pain at the back of the knee. Are the causes for the pain and discomfort different from the factors that contribute to other types of joint pain?

Fatigue

Maybe you have been standing or sitting for hours, unable to stretch or move your legs properly. Sometimes forgetting to stretch before an exercise can also cause fatigue on the muscles and joints.

Hamstring Injury

This is common in people who do strenuous physical activities. The injury is usually found on the muscles in the back of the thigh but the pain can be felt almost throughout the leg.

ACL and PCL Injury

Another common injury among active people is the injury to the anterior cruciate ligament, a tissue that connects the bones in the knee joint. The first sign is a popping sound. It is considered a serious injury that can take months to fully heal. The posterior cruciate ligament has the same function as the ACL and injuries to this is usually the result of accidents.

Runner’s Knee

This is a term for the worn down cartilage in the knee joint. Without the protection, the bones can rub together and cause pain and swelling. This is usually felt as a dull pain in the back of the knee, limited movement, crackling, weakness, and even the giving out of the knee.

Leg Cramps

Even doing too much can cause pain in the back of the knee, too. Cramps are characterized by the tightness of the muscles or the sudden and painful spasms that can also be felt on the calves and knees. You can sometimes see this happen to athletes who need to be taken out of the game to recover. But cramps can also be caused by other conditions, so if this happens frequently, you should have it checked.

Osteoarthritis

Over time, the cartilage wears out because of use, but this process is faster in some people. the result is pain and inflammation in the joints, most commonly in the knees. There are many types of arthritis that can cause pain in the knees including autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.

Meniscus Tears

If you hear a loud popping sound when you bent or moved, that could be a sign you have meniscus tears. It is also accompanied by loss od motion, weakness, swelling, or the locking up or giving out of the knee.

Baker’s Cyst

The cyst is the result of the buildup of fluid at the back of the knee. The cyst can be tiny and invisible, but sometimes they grow to small lumps that are visible. Small cysts do not cause pain and will usually go away even without treatment, but they are typically a symptom of a joint disease that causes inflammation. The larger cysts can also cause pain and a tingling sensation especially if it affects a nerve.

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