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. 

4 Tips on How to Read More Books

We read books to learn, to be inspired, to entertain ourselves, and for many other reasons. Books not only contain knowledge but they also give us the opportunity to spend time in a whole different world while.

That’s why it’s not exactly a surprise that there are some people who can read over a hundred books a year. If you decided to take the challenge and at least read more books within the year, here are some tips should take note of.

Make reading part of your daily schedule

Let’s get this straight; you will always be able to make time to read. For example, if you spend most of your evening mindlessly scrolling on your phone, you can actually use that time to read a book. Or, if you wake up early, you can read a few pages while drinking your kopi and eating some kaya toast.

When you’re just starting out though, don’t immediately clear out an hour from your daily schedule just to read. Do it for 20 minutes first, then 30, then so on. This is so that you don’t suddenly destroy your schedule each day.

Learn how and when to speed read

There are actually a lot of ways to speed read. There are also lots of tutorials on the internet! Now, one speed reading strategy may work for one person and not work for another. There are also some books that are hard enough to understand if you’re reading at a normal pace, how much more if you speed read. Learning how to speed read can be a good investment, but you have to also use it strategically.

Read in those spare moments

Aside from your schedule reading time, you should also read during your spare moments. For example, standing in line at a hawker stall, sitting in the MRT for your daily commute, waiting for a sibling to finish classes.

These are all great times to read a book because your mind is not preoccupied with other tasks. It’s also a great way to kill boredom! Even though you only get a few minutes of these spare moments, they will actually add up and you’ll actually read more than you expect.

Reading with your phone

Reading with a smartphone has its pros and cons. With a smartphone, you essentially have a whole library in your hands! Plus, it’s very easy to read from your phone during commutes or times when you can’t hold bigger items like books.

The disadvantage, though, is that you can get distracted pretty easily. We play games and go around different social media platforms on our phones. If you’re still not used to reading, you may just end up on Twitter or Facebook rather than read what you planned to read.

Things to Remember on Your First Trip Abroad

Are you planning to check off the first country in your bucket list soon? Traveling to another country is a lot different from exploring local tourist spots. To ensure that you will have the best time of your life, you need to remember a few things before booking a ticket.

Get a Medical Checkup

You should be updated with all the necessary vaccinations when traveling abroad. You can discuss this after scheduling a regular checkup with your doctor to make sure that you are fit for traveling. You might also want to ask about your health insurance, if you have any, and if your medical expenses will be covered overseas during emergencies. Bring prescription medications because you might not be able to find them easily or the pharmacies might charge higher.

Research About the Place

Updated travel guides are a huge help even if you think they’re cliché. These guidebooks will list the places you need to visit as well as where to dine, shop, and stay. They will also include key words, maps, and the dates for the events and festivals.

Having an adventurous spirit is fine but getting lost isn’t fun at all. You should also be familiar with the local cuisine, so you would know what to expect if you want to try them. Don’t hesitate to ask about the ingredients if you’re not sure what’s in them or to ask the locals for recommendations about affordable places to eat.

If you want to book a hotel or a restaurant or a tour, make sure not to overbook if you’re not going to stay there for a long time. Leave possibilities for changes in your itinerary so you can make the most of your first trip.

Prepare Your Luggage Weeks Ahead

Make a list of the items you will need for your first trip abroad. Include copies of your passport, IDs, and other important travel documents, so that in case you lose them, you will still have a proof of your identity. A lot of travelers also forget to check the voltage of their electronic gadgets.

Some countries have different voltages and plug sizes than the one you probably use at home. You should also pack extra items such as clothes and electronic chargers, but do not bring too many unnecessary items. Check the airline’s rules about packing, checking, and carrying to avoid surprise charges.

Make Sure You Have Enough Cash

You should be familiar with the monetary conversion before leaving, so you will have an idea how much money you will need during your stay. Although cards and banks are available, you should always have local cash with you because not all places can take cards. If you need to have your cash converted to the local currency, you should consider banks instead of the seedy money changer shops to make sure you will receive the exact conversion. Make a list of all the fees during your travel, then set aside money for emergencies.

4 Delicious Recipes with Chickpeas

Chickpeas are more commonly known as garbanzo beans in this part of the world. Although not usually used as the main ingredient, it is a healthy source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals which make them perfect for those wanting to cut down meat.

Here are some recipes you can make at home.

Chickpea Burger

Ingredients: 400 grams chickpeas, 4 buns, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 egg, 100 grams breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 lemon zest and juice, 1 red onion, 1 tomato, ½ cucumber, chili sauce, and coriander

Preparation: Combine chickpeas with cumin, half a bunch of coriander, lemon zest and juice, egg, and a pinch of salt and black pepper in a food processor. Whizz until smooth then add onions and 80 grams of breadcrumbs. Shape mixture into four patties then coat with the remaining breadcrumbs.

Chill patties for at least 10 minutes or until firm. Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan over medium heat, and when ready, fry patties for 4 minutes on each side. Fill buns with patties, tomatoes, red onion slices, cucumber, chili sauce, and coriander.

Moroccan Chickpea Soup

Ingredients: 400 grams chickpeas, 1 onion, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 2 celery sticks, 600 mL vegetable stock, 400 grams plum tomatoes with garlic, 100 grams broad beans, and 1 lemon juice and zest

Preparation: Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat then sauté celery and onion for 10 minutes before adding cumin. After 1 minute, gradually stir in stock, chickpeas, tomatoes, and black pepper. Simmer for 8 minutes then stir in lemon juice and broad beans. Heat thoroughly for 2 minutes then season to taste before serving.

Chickpea and Coconut Curry

Ingredients: 400 grams butternut squash, 1 onion, 1 garlic clove, 1-inch peeled ginger, 1 red chili, ½ teaspoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon garam masala, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 400 mL coconut milk, 200 mL vegetable stock, 150 grams baby spinach, 1 lime wedge, and groundnut oil

Preparation: In a food processor, combine garlic, onion, ginger, and chili to make a paste. Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon oil in a pan over medium heat then cook the paste. Add a pinch of salt, turmeric, coriander, garam masala, and cumin. After 1 minute, stir in chickpeas and squash. Stir and heat thoroughly then add stock and coconut milk. Simmer for 30 minutes while covered. Stir occasionally until the squash softens then add spinach and lime juice. Heat until spinach is wilted before serving.

Roasted Chickpeas

Ingredients: 2 cups cooked chickpea, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, 1 ½ teaspoons olive oil, ¼ teaspoon paprika, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, ¾ teaspoon chili powder, and cayenne pepper

Preparation: Pat-dry cooked chickpeas with paper towels to remove loose skins and preheat oven to 425°F. arrange chickpeas in a parchment-lined baking sheet then mist and toss with oil. In a bowl, whisk garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, salt, black pepper, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Sprinkle this mixture on the chickpeas then toss. Bake for 25 minutes, stirring the ingredients at the 15-minute mark.

Collecting Video Games for Beginners

Some gamers prefer to keep their games instead of selling used ones to get new titles. But the maintenance and the cost of building an impressive collection will need a lot of time, effort, and money.

How do you start building your collection and what do you need to keep them in good condition for years?

Don’t Forget to Research

Most dedicated gamers are familiar with the history of video games and the different platforms, but for those who want to collect vintage games and consoles, it’s important to know which items you’re supposed to get and what to look for in each.

Take note of the features, especially with retro consoles, so that you don’t end up spending money on something that you can’t use. You might also want to look for a reputable electronic repair shop in Singapore that is experienced with old video game consoles in case you need to have one of your items repaired or cleaned.

Set a Budget

Spend your money wisely when buying used or new titles, unless you’re just collecting games for the sake of displaying them. Maybe you don’t need that exclusive edition because you’re not a big fan of the franchise, or maybe you’re already hard-pressed to make ends meet.

Gaming is fun, but you should not starve yourself just to get a special edition that you’re not going to play anytime soon. Set a limit to how much you’re willing to spend and do not buy a ton of games that you won’t be able to play for months. Unless you’re looking for rare titles, you’re not going to run out of copies, so relax!

Don’t Buy Randomly

It could be tempting to fill up a shelf with some of the popular titles you can find, but you should not spend on games that are only good for display. Starting your own collection means that you need to define what your preferences are and to use your budget wisely by purchasing only the titles that you’re interested to play.

Trying to collect everything you can get your hands on defeats the purpose of building that collection, and you might also end up buying defective or fake products if you fail to test them. Start small with a list of titles you want to play, or you can start by purchasing a personal computer or one console and browse through some of the exclusives.

You Should Know What to Look For

If you’ve done your research, then you should be able to tell which items are worth buying. When shopping for accessories, consoles, games, and other gaming items, keep in mind its functionality, condition, extra features, and its accessibility to use the item. For example, do not buy retro consoles if you cannot purchase games to play it with. Inspect the items thoroughly for any damage especially if you’re buying second-hand items, and know how to spot fake goods by knowing what extra items should come with the product.

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.

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