Planking is a time-saving exercise that can deliver! You can do it practically everywhere and at any given moment — in your living room while watching your favorite reality show, in your kitchen while waiting for the pecan pie’s crust to turn brown, or in the copy room while waiting for an office document to be reproduced 100 times.
Fitness experts recommend for you to sustain a proper planking position for 5 minutes. But if you are a beginner, feel free to maintain it at a shorter time period — eventually, you will be able to hold a plank for much longer durations as you get better and better at doing it! Try making your planks about 5 seconds longer each time for progress.
So what will happen if you perform 5-minute planks for 2 straight months? Here they are:
A Flatter Belly
Planking is an unparalleled exercise for the abdominal muscles. It’s exactly for this reason why planking daily can help you attain the washboard abs of your wildest dreams. If you loathe crunches and sit-ups as they leave you lightheaded and hurt your back, consider doing planks instead so that you may have your belly flattened.
Speaking of hurting your back, did you know that planking everyday is actually good for your spine? It’s because planks help strengthen those back muscles that support your spine. What’s more, you will notice that your spine stays in a neutral position as you plank, so it’s kept out of harm’s way — unlike when doing other abdominal exercises.
Planking also helps improve your posture significantly. Due to this, you will look taller and more confident. Having good posture is not only beneficial for your image and poise, but also your lower back and hips. That’s because planking strengthens the core muscles necessary to keep the said areas of your body in optimum condition.
You can considerably improve your balance when you plank for 5 minutes for a couple of months. Having superb balance is important in your daily living as it allows you to carry out all sorts of physical tasks properly. In addition, having top-notch balance helps lower your risk of accidental falls and injuring yourself.
You also need to be flexible so that you may perform various tasks with utmost efficiency. From reaching for a can of pineapples on the top shelf to vacuuming the underside of the sofa, these chores require you to be flexible. Oh, having superb flexibility courtesy of planking will also come in handy when it’s time to show off your dancing skills!
According to experts, weight-bearing exercises help keep your bones strong. Actually, planking can be regarded as one of those exercises because it requires you to support your entire body weight with your arms and legs. Having strong bones is crucial for the prevention of osteoporosis, which is characterized by bones becoming brittle.
Reduced Stress Levels
It’s common knowledge that exercising is a marvelous way to keep stress at bay. But if you’re too tired at the end of a busy day, you may have not much energy left to exercise. Fortunately, there is one routine that you can perform daily without having to expend lots of your remaining energy, and it’s called planking!
We all know that exercising causes your brain to be flooded with happy hormones, and that’s why it is deemed effective in combating depression. Something as simple as planking for 5 minutes a day can help lift your mood. And knowing that you are doing your figure and health a huge favor, you tend to feel much better after a session.
You can enjoy all of these things simply by planking for 5 minutes daily for 2 months. So what’s next after a couple of months? Just continue planking religiously to keep these perks around!
5 natural ways to fight non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
According to the WHO, liver disease is the 10th most common cause of deaths in India. Gone are the days when liver disease was only associated with the consumption of alcohol. With the increased prevalence of obesity and metabolic diseases such as diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver, which leads to hepatitis and eventually cirrhosis, is an emerging problem. More than a million new patients are diagnosed with liver cirrhosis every year globally, and the major causes for it are non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and hepatitis B and C. Epidemiologic studies suggest the prevalence of NAFLD in nine per cent to 32 per cent of the general population in India. Dr Palaniyamma D., Medical Advisor, The Himalaya Drug Company, says people who are overweight or obese and lead a sedentary lifestyle are at risk of NAFLD. The prevalence is especially common in those who eat highly processed food. The five best foods to be included in the diet to regulate this condition are:
Greens: Green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, cabbage, and sprouts help in general weight loss by preventing fat build-up in the liver.
Oatmeal: Oats are packed with dietary fibre and help a person feel full for a longer period, thus serving as a filling breakfast or snack and increasing the body’s energy levels.
Sunflower Seeds: These seeds are high in the antioxidant vitamin E, which helps protect the liver from further damage, and are a healthy snack for munching in between meals.
Garlic: This popular flavour-enhancing ingredient helps burn extra fat, which in turn helps in reducing weight.
Fish: Rich in omega-3 fatty acid, fish is an excellent food that improves liver function and reduces inflammation.
If NAFLD is detected and managed at an early stage, it is possible to reduce the amount of fat in the liver and prevent the condition from worsening.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle is the first step towards managing NAFLD. Reducing weight, eating healthy, exercising moderately, and avoiding alcohol can reduce the risk of NAFLD. Consuming alcohol does not cause NAFLD, but it can worsen the condition.
Medicines can be useful in managing the symptoms associated with this condition. Using medications that have natural ingredients can restore the functional efficiency of the liver. Formulations containing natural ingredients such as The Caper Bush (Himsra) and Chicory (Kasani) improve the functional efficiency of the liver, protect the liver structure, boost liver health, and remove toxins from the body.
The liver carries out various functions that are critical for good health. It helps break down food, purify blood, build proteins, remove harmful substances, balance hormones, and store energy. Hence, it is advisable to consume a healthy diet and supplements containing herbal ingredients that help the liver metabolise foods, eliminate waste, and balance hormones.
Diet to help you fight symptoms of skin allergies
Adopt these guidelines manage your allergies: From consuming at least two tablespoons of flaxseeds daily to practising stress relaxation techniques or meditating.
Skin allergies are common and are characterised by red skin rashes or bumps. Some are caused by allergens induced by exposure to foods, medications, and insect stings, but the large majority of cases are not specific to any cause. Adopt these guidelines to fight symptoms and manage your allergies.
- Essential fatty acids are responsible for healthy cell membranes, which act as barriers to harmful things, as the passageway for nutrients to cross in and out, and for waste products to get in and out of the cell. The best-known essential fatty acids are omega-3 and omega-6, which must be in balance for good health (and good skin). Though we all seem to get enough omega-6, most of us lack omega-3s. Some good sources are fish, walnut, and flaxseed oil. Consume at least two tablespoons of flaxseeds daily. You could sprinkle it on your salad after roasting it.
- Vitamin C has been shown to decrease production of histamine, reducing immediate allergy potential. Vitamin C helps relieve allergic symptoms and prevent inflammatory reactions by providing an anti-histamine-like effect.
- As tension and stress usually make allergies worse, practice stress relaxation techniques or meditate.
- People who are prone to allergies must look carefully at their intake of foods such as berries, raisins, prunes, nuts, seeds, shellfish, soybean and gluten. The right detoxification programme and correction of any liver problems can be extremely helpful for such individuals.
- It is important to remember that what you eat reflects on your skin. Your skin requires the right kind of fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. When we improve our diet, these nutrients take time to reach the skin.
- So, once you bring about the required alterations in your diet or go on a restricted elimination diet, don’t expect a miracle. In addition to the diet and vitamins, you may need your physician’s help, to check if you have any severe infection or a specific allergy.
4 Surprising Pre-Workout Foods
We all have our go-to pre-race foods, from a simple bowl of oatmeal to a peanut butter and banana sandwich. But those meals can be a little too filling right before boot camp. That’s where these surprising foods and drinks can help when you’re pressed for time. Read on to find out which foods you should eat to ensure an all-star workout at the gym.
Forget Gatorade—researchers suspect that an amino acid called L-citrulline found in watermelon can provide relief to sore muscles after an intense workout. A study published earlier this year found that athletes reported less muscle soreness on days they drank watermelon juice. The same has been found of drinking cherry juice, which contains anti-inflammatory antioxidants.
Chicken Noodle Soup
Some runners take salt tabs when running in the heat to prevent muscle cramping, but salty food works too, according to a study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. Researchers found that men who ate chicken noodle soup containing 1,362 milligrams of sodium before cycling in the heat retained more water and thus stayed hydrated during their workout. But note: The average recommended sodium intake is 2,300 milligrams per day.
That afternoon cup of joe may not be such a bad idea, especially if you plan on hitting the gym after work. A 1992 study published in the British Journal of Sports Science found that runners who drank a small amount of coffee before running 1,500 meters on the treadmill ran 4.2 seconds faster than those who took a placebo. The coffee drinkers also experienced enhanced oxygen intake.
The leafy green that’s often just used as a garnish has some surprising muscle relief powers, too. The antioxidant-rich watercress has been proven to prevent DNA damage caused by high-intensity exercise. A British Journal of Nutrition study also found that eating watercress two hours before a workout provides the same benefits as consuming it for eight weeks.