Tips on Getting Fit Fast

1. Being fit and exercising is part of a healthy lifestyle and overall wellbeing. Getting fit can be a tough and slow route to go down, especially for beginners, however knowing what works and what doesn’t will greatly improve the effectiveness of your workout. Get the most out of your workout and follow these tips to help you to get fit fast.

2. Cardio exercises are the best way to burn calories, which is your main goal. Pick one which you enjoy doing and do it for 30 minutes three to four times per week for maximum results. If you bore easily, pick a couple of cardio exercises and switch each time you workout.

3. Interval training is a great way to burn fat and increase your fitness. Short bursts of cardio, such as sprinting followed by walking and then sprinting again, while help the heart and cardiovascular system to strengthen and improve, allowing you to increase the intensity of your workout over time and increase your fitness levels.

4. Rather than push ups or stomach crunches, try burpees. Get into the push up position, but do a small jump bringing you knees up under you (while keeping your hands on the floor) as though you are in a crouched/squatted position. Its a full body exercise which works all the muscles, increases strength, condition the body and burn fat.

5. One of the best ways to ensure you get fit fast is to make sure that you give your muscles and body enough time to rest, rebuild and recover between bouts of high intensity workouts. Not doing so will cause muscle damage and strain which can make you inactive and set your fitness goals back by limiting your ability to train.

6. Alternating between cardio and strength training, also known as cross training, is a great way to allow your leg muscles and core to recover from cardio, for example, while you arms and upper body focus on conditioning and toning.

7. Many women avoid strength training as they think it will make them bulk up, but actually building muscles helps to burn fat and speed up your metabolism. If you want to burn more calories then you need to build more muscles. Use small dumbbells and leg weights to add muscles. These aren’t heavy enough to make you look like a body builder.

8. Making sure that you are consistent when it comes to your workout will help you to get the results you want. Exercise for the allotted time you set yourself each time and put your full effort into the workout. This will ensure that you achieve the success you set yourself rather than just a gradual change and progress.

9. It may seem that we are pointing out the obvious here, but a healthy diet will also ensure you reach your fitness and weight goals quicker. Foods that are full of vitamins, protein, complex carbohydrates and nutrients are you best option as is avoiding junk foods and those with little nutritional benefits and you’ll only be eating empty calories.

Source: xinmsn/lifestyle

The Health Benefits of Fasting

As Muslims observe the month of fasting, here is a list of the benefits you might find worth reaping.

1. Fasting can help many people with weight loss, as the body dissolves the extra fat it stores for energy. As the stomach starts to shrink, so too does as person’s hunger and the less a person eats, the more the body uses the fat storage. Even if you ate as much as you could after fasting, it won’t add up to the calories that are missed during the day.

2. Many people’s diet improves during fasting month as they are more aware of eating nutritional food that will give them sustained energy and the right amount of vitamins and fuel that the body needs.

3. One of the great advantages of fasting is that the body and organs benefit from the detox, as toxins can be flushed from the liver, skin, kidneys and various glands. The chemical found in stored fat and fatty acids are released during fasting and got rid of by these organs.

4. Fasting can also provide emotional and mental stability. Being reminded to show restraint in all things can have a positive effect on someone’s mental health.

5. The cells in the body also benefit from fasting as they aren’t exposed to as much oxidative stress which damages them. This gives them the chance to repair and also prevents more harm. Damaged DNA in the cells usually develops into cancer.

6. The cells in the body also benefit from fasting as they aren’t exposed to as much oxidative stress which damages them. This gives them the chance to repair and also prevents more harm. Damaged DNA in the cells usually develops into cancer.

7. Fasting has been found to lower bad cholesterol levels. The veins and arteries respond by breaking down the deposits and this is thought to be due to a lower fat intake and increased fibre. Recent research has also found that fasting from water can lower your risk of developing coronary artery disease and diabetes.

8. The digestive system also benefits as fasting can alleviate stomach problems, inflammation and indigestion as the stomach, colon and intestines are given complete rest and can therefore repair.

9. Fasting can also improve the quality of a person’s sleep. The process of repair on the body and brain takes place while we sleep and a couple of hours during fasting can be more satisfying and refreshing than a full night of regular sleep. Fasting helps to reset a person’s sleep cycle

10. The immune system is also strengthened due to the restorative process that the body goes through as energy is focused away from the digestive system and towards the metabolism and immune system. An example of this is when someone is ill they lose their appetite and that’s because all energy is being directed towards the immune system so it’s working at its optimum.

11. There is a lot of evidence that suggests eating less and regulated fasting can contribute to a longer life. This is due to a slower metabolic rate, a stronger immune system, an increased production of hormones and due to an accumulation of the benefits previously mentioned. Increased production of anti-aging hormones are also released during fasting.

Source: xinmsn lifestyle

Gain the Advantages from Tea

Have a cup of tea at least twice a day and enjoy its health benefits.The phytochemicals found in them reduce the risks of diseases.

1. Regular tea drinkers have been found to have a higher bones density that those who don’t drink it. Making sure you have strong bones will decrease your risk of osteoporosis, which many women are vulnerable to, especially after menopause.

2. Drinking tea can protect the heart. Researchers have found that drinking tea on a regular basis can help to lower cholesterol and prevent blood clots.. By having low cholesterol, you reduce your risk of high blood pressure and protect the heart from disease.

3. Tea can also help to keep your teeth white and protect against decay as it contains tannins and fluoride which helps to prevent plaque. It’s the sugar that people add to their tea which makes it bad for their teeth.

4. Tea is good for weight loss as it doesn’t have any calories, except when milk or sugar are added. Studies have shown that green tea extract fights obesity and flavonoids, found in green tea can help increase the speed of your metabolism and therefore calorie burning.

5. Drinking black tea has been found to increase and improve a person’s blood circulation therefore, reducing risk of heart disease and ensuring that plenty of blood and oxygen reach all the vitals. Adding milk however, decreases the beneficial effect.

6. Tea, especially green tea, contains plenty of antioxidants which are important for maintaining good health. They fight free radicals which cause damage to the cells and studies found that they have anti-carcinogenic effects by inhibiting the growth of cancer.

7. These antioxidants also help repair and regenerate the cells, including the skin cells which indicates they could have anti-aging benefits. Tea is believed to slow the process of wrinkles, fine lines and age spots, all associated with aging.

8. Many cultures around the world drink tea after a meal. The benefits of this is that the tannins found in tea have been found to help with digestion and improve it.

9. Black tea has been found to be good for the brain as it has calming effects and reduces stress hormones which damage the brain. Studies on green tea in Japan have also found that it can help to reduce the risk cognitive decline.

Make yourself a cup of tea today after your lunch, and try to reduce the sugar or not have them at all.

Until then, stay healthy!

Source: xinmsn lifestyle

Health Article: Mangoes and almons can improve male fertility

Mangoes are rich in both beta-carotene and vitamin E.

1. The study, published July 18 in the journal Ecology Letters, found that the best defense against sperm damage was the combination of two powerful antioxidants: vitamin E and beta-carotene. The study, which was performed on crickets, suggests that dietary intake of foods like cantaloupe, carrots, apricots, pumpkin and mangos — orange-colored foods rich in beta-carotene — and almonds, soybean oil, and broccoli, which are rich in vitamin E, could help maintain healthy sperm in men.

2. To carry out their hypothesis, scientists used crickets to pit the sperm of several different males in direct competition to fertilize the female’s egg — some were put on antioxidant-rich diets, and others went deprived.
In the animal kingdom it’s typical for females to have the sperm of several males inside them at any given time, said researcher Leigh Simmons. In their experiment, the antioxidant-fueled sperm proved to be faster swimmers.

3. “It is fair to say that the sperm are at war within the female, and we can expect that the most competitive sperm will win the race to the egg,” Simmons said. “Our study showed that the sperm of males who were fed antioxidants were easily able to outclass the sperm of rival males who were deprived of antioxidants.”

4. The Australian study follows on the heels of another review published in January in The Cochrane Library, which also found that men with low sperm counts or sperm mobility who took oral antioxidants like vitamin E, zinc and magnesium improved their chances of impregnating their partner.

5. Foods rich in vitamin E: almonds, wheat germ, safflower, corn and soybean oils; mangos, nuts, broccoli
Foods rich in beta-carotene: orange foods like sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, squash, apricots, pumpkin, and mangos, as well as leafy green vegetables like collard greens, spinach and kale.

Source: xinmsn lifestyle


Health Article: Toxic foods

1. Rice

While there are many benefits to rice, especially brown rice, it really shouldn’t be eaten in large quantities as it contains arsenic which, in high levels, is extremely toxic. The odd rice bowl here or there won’t do you harm, but lots of it consistently isn’t good as high levels of arsenic have been linked to cancer.

2. Nuts

Some nuts such as almonds and cashews are a healthy snack and taste great. However, before they reach the supermarket shelves and our mouths, they are treated with heat and processed. This is essential, as the raw form of the nuts contain cyanide.

3. Pufferfish

For many this fish, also known as fugu, is a delicacy, yet eating its liver, intestines and skin is poisonous as they contain tetrodotoxin. The flesh is perfectly safe to eat, but eating the other parts can cause tingling sensations, paralysis and even death.

4. Chili

While many of us like a little chili-padi on our food to give it a bit of a kick, the compound which causes the heat, capsaicin, is toxic. It has been known to cause burning sensations, inflammation, irritated skin, stomach aches and, on the rare occasion, death.

5. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are certainly classed as a super food as they are nutritional powerhouses when it comes to all their goodness. However, there are some which are extremely toxic and can be deadly. It’s best not to pick and eat wild mushrooms unless you are 100 per cent sure that they are safe.

6. Potato

Potatoes, like rice, are a staple in many people’s diets and baked or boiled, they are very good for us. However, when they are left a little too long and have green patches or grown small roots, it’s best to avoid them. The green area is due to glycoalkaloid, which is poisonous. The leaves and roots are also toxic to humans.

7. Seeds and pips

While the most part of apples, cherries, and peaches, for example, are very good for us, their seeds and pips aren’t. Again, these contain cyanide and while you would have to eat large quantities of them to be significantly poisoned, if you chew on or swallow a high number you will get sick.

8. Oil

Now we don’t mean all oils here, just castor oil. However the castor oil that we buy has been treated and prepared so that it is edible and non-toxic. Still, the actual bean contains ricin that is particularly poisonous and consuming just one bean which hasn’t been carefully prepared will kill you.

9. Bread rolls

Many breads and rolls contain the ingredient potassium bromate which is carcinogenic. While most bromate turns to bromide and is harmless, those that remain in their original form are extremely bad for us and in studies have been known to cause tumors. Due to this it’s been banned in many countries.

10. UHT/ pasteurized milk

While it isn’t poisonous as such, the UHT stands for ‘ultra heat temperature’, and the milk has been heated to an extremely high temperature. This may sound harmless, but casein, the protein in it, changes form, making it impossible for the body to digest causing allergies, asthma, skin rashes and more. It also causes mucus to form in the lungs and intestines making it hard for nutrients to be absorbed.

11. Absinthe

This alcohol is not only hallucinogenic, but contains Wormwood which is a poison when mixed wrongly or taken in too large doses. Many places have banned it and some bars that sell it will (or should) stamp a person’s hand so they can keep track of how many have been drunk. Usually only two are allowed, mainly due to its hallucinogenic affects.

Source: xinmsn lifestyle

Health Article: Energy boosting food

1. Make sure that you have breakfast to help you get through the morning and prevent you from eating too much of the wrong foods at lunch. Eating more during the day when you need energy, rather than in the evening, will assure your levels remain high. Scrambled egg whites, smoked salmon on a bagel is a substantial meal which will give ongoing energy.

2. For a quick boost of energy, aim for fruit, such as a banana. You’ll get your carbohydrates which your body needs to burn and is the fastest way to get energy. The potassium is bananas is an electrolyte which helps to prolong muscle function.

3. Berries or foods rich in antioxidants will the the body to eliminate and combat the toxins and chemicals in the body which cause fatigue. Try a handful of blueberries on yogurt as the magnesium in the yogurt are important for digestion and help to release energy.

4. Watermelon contains four minerals which help to combat low energy; potassium, vitamin C, iron and lycopene. Add it to salad or have it after a meal as a powerful addition to your energy boosting meal.

5. Beans and lentils are great for when your body needs energy. They contain carbohydrates, protein and fiber and releases glucose slowly, meaning your body has a sustained release of energy.

6. Having low levels of iron will cause fatigue and low energy as calls suffocate and can’t burn carbohydrates properly. A steak will help to increase your iron levels as the body easily absorbs the mineral from it.

7. For an afternoon snack which is healthy, have some hummus with vegetable sticks. Hummus contains protein and the vegetables provide carbohydrates and fibre. These will help to fill you up and give you energy. It’s great if your trying to lose weight.

8. Another healthy snack would be a handful of nuts as they contain magnesium which is needed by the body to turn sugar into energy. A lack of magnesium is known to drain energy reserves and cause fatigue.

9. For sustained energy go for a combination of foods, such as carbohydrates, protein and fats. They are all digested at different times and processed differently. Therefore you’ll have sustained energy release. A turkey sandwich on whole grain bread is ideal.

10. Water is essential for your body to function properly and without it, it won’t be able to create energy and it is needed for digestion and transporting nutrients. Being dehydrated can cause fatigue.

11. o give yourself a short-term energy kick and to keep you alert, have a cup of coffee. It helps to increase metabolism therefore speeding up digestion and ensuring those essential nutrients are used for energy. Only have a cup or two a day.

Source: xinmsn lifestyle

Health Article: Think twice before you share your make up with others

1. Brushes that you use to carry not only will contain dead skin particles, but also bacteria and germs, such as dermatitis, which are then transferred from one person to the next.

2. Someone that has or has had an infected lip or eye can easily pass that infection to someone, especially as those areas are sensitive and delicate. Infections and germs flourish in the lip and eye product containers such as mascara and lip gloss and it’s more risky as you’re coming in contact with body fluids.

3. Customers at cosmetic counters who opt for a free makeup demonstration or try a product also put themselves at risk and may leave with more then they bargain for. Without certain health precautions in place, strangers are unwittingly sharing cosmetics with plenty of others, exposing themselves to all sorts.

4. Oral herpes which can be passed by sharing lip makeup applicators, can reoccur time and time again because once the initial infection clears up, the virus remains inactive in the body. Anything from stress, the common cold or sunlight can trigger it. While there are no long term effects, the virus will remain with you forever and can spread to the eyes, fingers and genital.

5. Conjunctivitis is also something which is easily spread through mascaras, eye liners and other eye products. It’s an irritating inflammation of the membrane around the eye and under the lids which can be sore and cause discomfort. It will usually take a course of antibiotics to clear it.

6. mpetigo is another skin infection which can be passed through shared makeup. It causes red sores on the area which is infected which looks like a rash. Although it can be easy to treat and isn’t dangerous, in can in some instances lead to rare but grave repercussions such as kidney inflammation, infection in the tissue under the skin which can get into the blood stream and MRSA according to the Mayo Clinic.

7. Many products contain preservatives to kill some common bacteria on the makeup, however, as soon as makeup is opened, bacteria surges in. In products that you have had for a long time, the power of the preservatives will diminish. Try to throw away and replace old products. For example, liquid foundation will last three to six months and mascara will only last for three months.

8. If you do need to share your brushes and applicators for whatever reason, make sure that you wash them afterwards to reduce the risk of infections – they should really washed on a monthly basis anyway.

Source: xinmsn lifestyle



Health Article: Skin care 101

First impressions count. A good skin-care regime doesn’t have to be a big production, but it does take a certain amount of diligence to keep your skin all alabaster and glowing – especially when the odds are stacked up against you.

Facial cleansing is important to wash away oil, make-up and surface debris that can clog pores and cause blemishes. Look for products that can do so effectively without damaging and dehydrating the skin. Once a week, gently exfoliate after cleansing to reveal smoother, healthier and younger looking skin.

Step by step

Cleansing your face should be part of your morning and evening routine, and can be completed in two to three steps. First, a gentle milk or non-foaming creamy cleanser can be used to remove make-up, dissolve surface oils and debris. A foaming cleanser can then be used for a fresher feel. Some individuals also prefer end the process with a toner that refreshes and tightens skin, as well as removing any remaining residue left behind by the cleansers.

Male skin is thicker than female skin

Men are less vulnerable to damage from the sun as they have more elastic and collagen in their skin. Hence, compared to women, men are less susceptible to ageing. However, this does not last forever – a man’s skin grows thinner as he ages, while a woman’s skin remains relatively constant through the years.

Men are more delicate than women
This is due to regular shaving, which strips off the hydrolytic film on the skin’s surface, making it more prone to irritation and skin issues. Men have smaller sebaceous glands (oil glands), but have oilier skin because their thicker skin produces sebum for much longer. Women’s skin, on the other hand, decreases oil production as they age. Men also have larger pores, which make them more susceptible to acne, blackheads and ingrown hair (from shaving incorrectly).

Cut back on the oil, guys

Men will do well to use non-oily products that can help reduce shine and breakouts. Mild salicylic acid is a good ingredient for male skin as it exfoliates dead cells and prevents shaving bumps, ingrown hairs and pimples. As a woman ages, Vitamins A, C and E are great for keeping the skin supple and youthful.


A good cleanser has low soap content

This prevents the skin’s natural moisture from being stripped away, which may lead to sensitive skin. A good cleanser should contain ingredients that can treat the skin for different types of problems while cleansing.

Exfoliation in moderation is good for you

It helps to remove dead skin cells, leaving behind new cells for a cleaner and clearer complexion that will allow make-up to set effectively. Also, regular exfoliation encourages the skin to renew regularly, keeping it young.

Pick the right doctor to treat spotty skin

Seek a doctor with experience in Intralesional Injection if the pimple is large, cystic or embedded into the skin. The injection can calm down angry pimples in four hours. For smaller ones, medicated acne gel should suffice. Do apply a layer of protective serum on the surrounding skin so that the harsh medication will not cause flaking of the skin, which may be very visible upon make-up application.

Source: xinmsn lifestyle


Health Article: Are you overeating when with friends?

Activities that are done among friends may have an impact on weight gain or loss.

The team sought to deduce possible causes of obesity transmission by answering the following questions: Do women decide on “acceptable body size” from friends and change their diet to achieve the weight ideal? Do they feel pressure to conform to a certain size, despite disagreeing with their family’s expectations? Or do they form an idea of appropriate body size by simply observing their friends’ bodies, and consequently change their eating and exercise habits as well?

Though they found no evidence to support the first two hypotheses and limited evidence to support the third, research suggested other factors like eating and exercising together may be more important in causing friends to gain and lose weight together, they said. The study was published online in the American Journal of Public Health.

“If we can figure out exactly why obesity spreads among friends and family members, that can tell us where to focus resources in curbing rates of obesity,” said lead author Daniel J. Hruschka, a cultural anthropologist. “Is it more effective to change people’s ideals of acceptable body size in hopes that they will change their behaviors or rather directly target socially shared behaviors that can contribute to weight gain or loss?”

After comparing the body mass index (or BMI) of the women, their friends and family members, the researchers confirmed prior findings that the risk of a woman’s obesity rose if her social network was also obese.

A 2007 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that both obesity and thinness were socially contagious and influenced the social network’s body weight: if one person is obese, odds that their friends will also become obese increases by 50 percent, the study found.

Another interesting aspect of the ASU study was that when asked to choose between obesity or a range of 12 socially stigmatized conditions like alcoholism or herpes, many women said they’d take a debilitating condition over being fat. That included 25 percent who said they preferred severe depression and 15 percent opting for total blindness over obesity.

“This gives us important clues about the best ways to tackle obesity as a public health issue,” said co-author Alexandra Brewis. “We need to focus on what people do together, rather than what people think.”


Source: xinmsn

Health Article: Advice on weight training

Many women tend to focus on cardio or classes when they workout and don’t think about weights, usually because it is associated with men. However, it should be a part of your routine as it is important for overall fitness and helps to tone the muscles and most importantly, strengthen your bones.

1. Tailor your routine and work out what it is you want to achieve from weight lifting, whether it is health, to improve your function or to tone up.

2. Make sure you focus more on your upper back as this will protect you against bad posture in later life which is commonly associated with osteoporosis. Weight training will help to strengthen your bones.

3. Ensure you learn how to use and lift the weights properly. If you have no experience you’ll likely cause yourself damage. May be ask a trainer or someone who uses them to show you.

4. Cardio mixed with weights will give the best result when it comes to weight loss and toning up. Try running for 10 minutes then walk for five and repeat as many times as you can. After the cardio, work on the weight lifting.

5. Alternatively, alternate cardio and weight lifting on different days. this will give the muscles time to repair and recover which is when your muscles strengthen.

6. To gain the full benefits from weight training you need to increase the weight over time. The number of repetitions that you are able to do should indicate how much weight you should start out with.

7. Don’t just work the muscles you can see and devote your time to that. Every muscle has an opposing muscle so make sure that you work the pair. For example, stomach crunches with back extensions or bicep curls with tricep kickbacks.

8. It’s a misconception you’ll end up big and bulky. Weight training will help to tone your muscles, speed up your metabolism and help to burn fat.

Source: xinmsn