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@EmmaUgwuTheMan: Dimgba Igwe, my Cousin and others

by Emmanuel Ugwu

Dimgba Igwe, a rock star of Nigerian tabloid journalism and one of the Nation’s finest columnists, set forth on a routine jogging exercise in his Lagos neighbourhood three Saturday mornings ago. And he died.

A driver ran over the running Dimgba and accelerated away from his fallen bleeding victim.

An innocent fitness work-out, the arms of a ready writer and the heart of a father rested.

Now, accidents happen. Even in the best of circumstances, the most sober and practised manipulator of a car is still liable to certain uncertainties. The sudden dysfunction of a motor part in mid journey can fetch bruises and broken bones. If you sighted one flawed manoeuvre of the other unlearned or intoxicated driver a millisecond too late, the resultant clash of metal and glass could leave in its wake a limb or two screaming for amputation.

Besides, the thoughtless moves of one absent minded pedestrian can create a dilemma that makes an accident inevitable. Add that to the chance that one suicidal man, either lacking the courage to become his own hangman or the money to buy a proper rope, times his adventure and makes clueless oncoming driver complicit in the execution.

However, documented accounts harvested from eyewitnesses agree that the driver hit Dimgba because he attempted to steer clear of a pothole. From this emerges the silhouette of a car owner possessed of a vigilant vision, an alert presence of mind and an active care for his prized vehicle.

You expect that man who could brook no avoidable dent on his car to do the needful after it had made an impact on a full-fledged human being. You imagine he would hasten to pull over, alight, cast a quick glance on the casualty and lead the swift evacuation of the critically wounded to the hospital.

But he fled the scene. His scruples permitted him to abandon a man he wounded while saving his car from some pothole to looming death.
He has yet to report himself to the police. Neither has he visited the family to introduce himself as the man whose driving consumed Dimgba. None of the bystanders captured his plate number in the panic of the tragedy. And there was no CCTV camera installed on the street that could have captured the incident. Knowing Nigeria’s long roll call of unresolved deaths, the betting is that the perpetrator has evaded accounting for his delinquent driving. The IG’s order that he be fished out of oblivion only mocks the situation.

Thus, the story of Dimgba Igwe’s mortal end will suffer the footnote of a causative unknown. There will be the missing presence of a name and a face to that final punctuation. A striking paradox for a reputable newshound who made a successful career out of raking and piecing together puzzles that help our understanding of news and newsmakers!

The high and the mighty mourn and sing Dimgba. Ardent admirers and followers of his weekly column lavish praises, in tributes of ink and tears, for his walk and work among us. It is a positive testimony of the man’s merits that these accolades ring less like the conventional funeral flattery, an obligatory payment of honorific debt to a translated soul. Instead, every accruing homage seems to yet aspire to a comprehensive grasp of Dimgba’s essence.

However, the nation bewails Dimgba, in part, because he happened to have earned a celebrated name. If he was a less popular mortal, the point scored by the hit-and-run driver would surely have vaporised as one of that day’s trivial evils. It would have failed to qualify for the slimmest space between the louder, consequential headlines of the twenty four hour news cycle. Actually, it would have been a literal domestic accident, known and felt by the immediate circle of family and friends – as my cousin’s.

Unlike Dimgba, the consummate journalist, Ekene was a bud yet to open its promise. A starry-eyed teenager in a hurry to earn a placement in his dream university. He was killed before his earthly assignment bloomed. My uncle’s first son. He was also taken by the road. His memory, one year after he was sown deep into the earth, still haunts with many might-have-beens.

Truth be told, the recurrent carnage on coal tar scarcely gets a rare review – except when the dare devil driving of a certain Governor’s convoy incurs a casualty or when a VIP falls to reckless road behaviour. We have come to accept the ordinariness of famished roads feeding off pedestrians and passengers every day. As a result, the souls that waste between every sunrise and sunset do not astound beyond the mourners’ homestead.

Contrast that with our hysterical answer to the once-in-a-blue moon episode of a plane crash…

Cameras converge, like a swarm of bees, on the scene, illuminating all the newsworthy facets of the occurrence. The government blushes at the embarrassing charge of peopling her sky space with flying coffins. The Presidency scrambles a PR win – orders a full scale investigation, declares three days of national mourning and costumes a subdued cabinet session in sackcloth.

There is funereal flamboyance, a pitiable ostentation of care from all official quarters.

The selfsame state that discounts daily human sacrifice on her roads, a state too grudging to acknowledge a hundred road deaths with one minute’s silence, in the seconds after the news breaks of a plane crash, will be caught trying to theatrically and seamlessly adjust behavior to project worshipful reverence for the value of life. You are tempted to go out on a limb and read the diagnosis: state schizophrenia!

Witness the ambidextrous duplicity of limbo for a car crash and animation for a plane crash, that assigns distinct worth to citizens based on the metric of their means of travel. The apartheid-style grading ranks the highflying more precious than pilgrims of the road. It is a prejudiced categorization of deaths by the affected caste.

More to the point, the way we die invites study. For example, the fugitive driver who crushed Dimgba, like a good number of others certified to drive on Nigerian roads, may have bought his driver’s license over the counter. His mastery of the wheels and understanding of driving rules may not have been vetted. This is very probable in a notoriously corrupt ecosystem where anyone capable of detecting a whiff of avarice in the right official can thwart the standard protocol governing the Nigerian office by playing the bribe card. The typical Nigerian office owes its uniqueness to the fact that some corner of it is consecrated to the occupation of, at least, one underhanded, solicitous fellow, who is poised to violate the rule with the right enticement. Perhaps, that’s the truest import of Federal Character!

Compromised officers who barter the driver’s license for bribe are betrayed by their own sense of exceptionality. They mentally subtract themselves from the lot exposed to the blunders of the licensed unqualified driver now authorised to run riot on the highway. Obviously, the contemplation of a juicy bribe offer shuts the door against the thoughts of the guaranteed corollary of bending the rules. Like the easy-to-grasp fact that the incompetent driver behind the wheels is an equal opportunity threat.

What’s more, it is common to hear supposed friends and wellwishers instigate the new car owner on the block to shun the rigours of driving lessons. They prime you with charged tales of how they taught themselves to drive by embarking on daring solo highway experiments. A gullible chap, challenged by his peers to test his testosterone, would take the dare. A loose cannon, he imperils himself as well as other road users.

And then for a serviceable ready-to-wear explanation to cover all car crashes, we have codified, by a consensus of sorts, the scapegoating of some amorphous evil spirits. The superstition discredits commonsense and focalizes on an invisible cast of characters. Its hallmark is that, whatever the glaring causative factors, bloodsucking demons are to blame for every accident.

Dimgba’s sorry end highlights the underrated terrorism of the Nigerian road. That an otherwise leisurely jogging on the pedestrian side of the street road, in a flash, turned irredeemably lethal is an inkling of the high danger. It illustrates that the littlest encounter with the edge of the road adds one potential candidate to the toll shortlist.

The haemorrhaging roads impoverish Nigeria. They drain the nation of her human wealth. Because each death creates an irreplaceable vacancy. The surge of condolences and consolation may vitiate the grief of the bereaved. But there can never be any conceivable substitution that can fit as father into the hearts of Dimgba’s children. As journalist and pastor of many fruitful years, no clone can duplicate his unique set of talents and experience. In his passing, the family and the nation was robbed of a unique human asset.

Our tag of a multimillion census sum, the disputable statistics on which our claim to greatness is based, should not excuse the loss of a certain fraction. The prevailing Shakespearean tradition of winking at the coffin of commoners and suddenly rediscovering sensitivity at the passage of the prince is bigoted bias.

The jealousy of a responsible state over her citizens should provoke a sincere effort to avert any avoidable death. Whether the individual is famed like Dimgba, or has zero societal distinction like my cousin and the many folks whose anonymity and estimated insignificance are more conveniently bracketed in newspaper headlines as “others”.

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Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

7 food myths you shouldn’t believe at any cost

by Heather Williams

 

foodd

 

Cleaning up your diet is always a great idea but along the way, don’t fall prey to some food myths you shouldn’t believe, no matter how promising they may sound.

From women’s magazines to health food product ads, it’s easy to get confused about what foods are healthy and which ones aren’t. I’ve been there myself so I’d like to share with you some food myths you shouldn’t believe no matter what the cost. Avoid these like the plague and instead, just eat smart and move your body to look and feel your best!

1. LESS IS MORE

It’s easy to think if you just eat less, you’ll lose more but this is one of the worst food myths you shouldn’t believe. Eating too few calories for your activity levels disrupts your blood sugar and your metabolism, causing your body to store every calorie you eat as fat, not fuel. Instead, aim to eat smaller meals four to five times a day and stop when you’re 80% full.

2. CALORIES IN, CALORIES OUT

When food turns into a numbers game, it can cause an unhealthy mindset around food really quickly. Instead of counting away each time you eat, just fill your plate with fruits, vegetables, lean protein, a little healthy fat, and small amounts of complex carbohydrates if you tolerate them. Remember, it’s not about the calories, it’s about the quality of the foods you’re eating.

3. TOTAL FAT GRAMS MATTER MOST

Instead of stressing yourself silly over fat grams on a food label, read the ingredient list. Recognize the items on there? Is sugar listed as one of the main ingredients? What about hydrogenated oils? The ingredient list will always tell you how healthy a food is or is not. Try to choose foods with no more than 5 grams of sugar and always aim for the least processed foods possible.

4. FRUIT IS BAD

The sugars in fruit might not be the best choice for someone with very sensitive blood sugar levels, however lower sugar fruits like berries, citrus, and green apples are all fruits anyone can enjoy. If your blood sugar levels are fine, then feel free to eat any fruits you enjoy whenever you like. Fruits and vegetables are always the best choice above processed foods, no matter what.

5. NATURAL SUGARS ARE HEALTHY

You’re probably seen all the new trendy sweeteners like coconut sugar, agave, coconut nectar, palm sugar (coconut sugar), and brown rice syrup. While these are less processed and lower glycemic choices than white sugar, cane sugar, or evaporated cane syrup, they’re still extra sources of calories that affect your sugar cravings and lead to weight gain. If you need a healthy sweetener, choose pure stevia extract, which is calorie-free, sugar-free, and not artificial.

6. GLUTEN-FREE MEANS HEALTHY

Gluten-free foods are often thought to be healthier but most processed gluten-free foods have more sugar than their non-gluten counterparts. They may also be low in fiber and just as high in unhealthy fats. If you have a gluten intolerance, then choose whole food sources of gluten-free foods over processed foods like cookies, chips, and low-fiber cereals.

7. ORGANIC MEANS FEWER CALORIES

It’s great to buy organic fruits, vegetables, dairy, and meat if you eat it, however just because a food on a shelf is organic, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily healthy. For example, foods like organic cereal, granola bars, cookies, and nondairy yogurt may be organic but most are also extremely high in sugar, additives, and ingredients you should try to avoid when cleaning up your diet.

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Read more in All Women Stalk

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

Katy Perry’s personal trainer shows 4 easy ways to tone up your body quick

by Liz Plosser

 

Black exercise lady

 

Get your body into shape with these super-quick toning exercises from Katy Perry’s personal trainer Armando Alarcon. He recommends doing this workout twice a week, plus 30 minutes of cardio on two other days.

1. The Bed Head. 

Kneel on the floor, positioning yourself a couple of feet from your bed, facing away from it. One at a time, position your feet on the edge of the bed and balance on your palms with your head almost touching the floor so your legs are straight. Extend your straightened left leg toward the ceiling and flex your foot. Alternate kicking with your left and right feet. Do 15–20 reps with each leg. Do two sets.

 

2. The Kick-Starter. 

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and get into side-lunge position by sliding your right leg a few feet to the right while bending your left knee. Slide your right foot back until your feet are hip-width apart and raise your left foot to the side so your knee is bent 90 degrees. Extend your straightened arm toward the ceiling. Repeat 15–20 times, then switch sides. Do two sets on each side.

 

3. The Booty Squat. 

Stand a few feet from the bed. Lift your leg behind you and place your foot on the edge of the bed with your knee bent slightly. Bend your right knee to lower yourself slowly, keeping your back straight. Pause when your right thigh is parallel to the floor. Press back up through your right foot, ending on tiptoe, to standing position. Repeat 15–20 times, then switch sides. Do two sets on each side.

4. The Fly Bird. 

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and your arms straight and extended toward the ceiling. Raise your strengthened left leg a couple feet off the floor in front of you and flex your foot. Pushing through your right heel (and keeping your arms straight), bend over from your waist, swinging your left leg behind you until your back and left leg are parallel to the floor. That’s one rep; do 15–20 without letting your foot touch the floor. Then switch sides. Do two sets on each side.

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Read more in Cosmopolitan

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

6 oh-so SEXY foods to bring into the bedroom

by Momtastic

 

black-couple-cuddling

What goes better with whipped cream than strawberries? 

 

With all the nibbling, licking, and kissing that occurs during foreplay, adding edible ingredients is a surefire way to end the night with fireworks. The best part: You probably already have these foreplay-worthy foods right in your kitchen.

Whipped cream:

I’ll be honest. The biggest workout my canister of whipped cream gets is on my coffee or on my kids’ pancakes and milkshakes. But those decadent, fluffy clouds of sweetness are the gateway food for sexy. Not only can you create a bikini Friday Night Lights-style using whipped cream, but the cold cream on a hot, writhing body will elicit gasps of delight.

Strawberries (champagne optional):

What goes better with whipped cream than strawberries? Feed your partner with the ripe, juicy fruit and use your tongue to help clean up the “mess.” For extra credit, pick up chocolate-covered strawberries.

Chocolate syrup:

We love eating chocolate when we’re PMSing, but don’t pigeonhole this fridge staple. Grab a paintbrush and turn each other’s bodies into a masterpiece…that you get to lick off later. Or use it to write “kiss me” or “lick here” on your body. Those are definitely directions that guys will follow.

Ice pops:

This childhood frozen treat is not just for cooling down during hot summer days. Slowly eat an ice pop in front of your guy and let it melt and drip all over your naked body. They’re also perfect for giving him a preview of what you might do to his ice pop.

(Warm, Not Hot) Tea or Coffee:

Taking a sip of tea or coffee before licking or nibbling those oh-so-sensitive spots will make your guy sigh and pleasure. Better yet, alternate between a hot beverage and a cold one. Just make sure your tea or coffee is more warm than hot. Burned tongues will definitely kill the mood.

Mints:

Those curiously strong mints make me less self-conscious after eating a Caesar salad, but sneak a tiny one in your mouth before oral sex. The simultaneous burst of cool and hot are sure to make your skin tingle. Plus, you’ll have fantastic breath afterwards.

Health Tip:

Make sure to stock your pantry with the dairy-free, sugar-free versions of sugary treats on this list if you plan on consuming them below the belt. Our lady bits don’t react well to dairy or sugar.

Add one of these foods to your next lovemaking session and you won’t regret it. Remember, you’ll work off the calories!

 

Read more in Momtastic

 

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Read more in Hello Beautiful

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

5 ways your high school science lessons can help you keep fit

by Robbie Darby

 

Black exercise lady

 

If you’re a runner (newbie or veteran) then the physics lesson for you is Newton’s third law of dynamics… Therefore working to improve your stride can help each and every run feel less taxing, which can ultimately help you improve both your speed and endurance sans injury.

 

If you’re looking for a new way to tone up ladies then I suggest you dust off your high school notes from physics class. That’s right, those complicated formulas can and totally  should be used during your sweat sessions today. Don’t worry, there won’t be a pop quiz this time around. Instead keep reading and get ready to test your physical limits by applying these scientific principles to your future workouts.

Lesson #1: It’s Okay To Be Unstable In Fitness

Unstable in life, not so much. However when it comes to your sweat sessions sis don’t be afraid to shake things up. Due to the biomechanics of stability, anytime you challenge your balance your body has to work harder, and the harder you work the faster the results. So next time you are doing upper body exercises balance on one leg or make things super challenging by working on an unstable surface such as a Bosu Ball. Not ready to exercise flamingo style? Then make any strength move more challenging by narrowing your base. For instance bring your hands close together during push ups or your feet close together during squats.

Lesson #2: Don’t Go With The Flow

Easy breezy personalities are RAD, however going with the flow in the gym instantly makes things easier. So in order to tone up quicker girls I suggest inviting two subtle yet challenging forces to the party: wind and incline. Next time you head out for a run or a bike ride don’t be afraid to ride into the wind or up hills. Doing so requires more energy to overcome the resistance which in turn requires more calories. Mimic these conditions in the gym by setting the treadmill or stationary bike on an incline.

Lesson #3: Lengthen Your Levers

Our muscles, bones and joints act as a system of levers that ultimately allow us to move heavy or light loads. Therefore the further the distance between the object you are lifting  (for example dumbbells) and the joint that’s moving, the more intense the exercise becomes. For instance lateral raises with 10 pound weights are much more challenging than bicep curls with the same amount of weight simply because your arms are fully extended. So next time you are looking to up the ante try extending your levers (arms and legs) before adding resistance. 

Lesson #4: Twist And Shout

A common mistake that most exercisers make is only moving on two geometric planes – the sagittal (up and down, and front to back) and the frontal (side to side). However one sure way to incorporate more muscles and accelerate your results is to learn how to twist. Doing so invites the transverse plane to the party which is great since this is more in tune with how we naturally function (think walking). So next time you are doing body weight squats don’t be afraid to add a twist at the end by bringing your opposite elbow to your opposite knee in between reps. 

Lesson #5: Stride With Pride

If you’re a runner (newbie or veteran) then the physics lesson for you is Newton’s third law of dynamics. When your foot hits the ground (or the treadmill), you apply a force to the ground, which responds with an equal and opposite force, helping you to propel forward. Therefore working to improve your stride can help each and every run feel less taxing, which can ultimately help you improve both your speed and endurance sans injury. Think small quick steps that are initiated from your hips as opposed to long wide strides that are powered by the front of your legs.

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Read more in Hello Beautiful

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

7 nutrients in lettuce that might surprise you

by Eliza Martinez

 

lettuce

 

Most leafy greens contain some amount of iron. This nutrient is particularly important for women since we lose blood each month during menstruation. It’s also vital during pregnancy, so you definitely don’t want to skimp on iron. 

I’m sure you’ve heard that lettuce isn’t much more than water, but there are a surprising number of nutrients in lettuce. So don’t believe everything you’ve read about eating lettuce because it’s actually very healthy and because it’s super low in calories, you can make it a great part of your meal plan. The water in lettuce even contributes to your daily quota and that’s nothing to shake a stick at either. So, check out the nutrients in lettuce and you’ll feel even better about your next salad.

1. FIBER

It might not be as much as beans or apples, but fiber is one of the nutrients in lettuce that make it a valuable choice. Fiber is great for appetite control because it digests slowly, leaving you feeling full for longer than low fiber foods. It’s also important for controlling your cholesterol and warding off heart disease, as well as regulating your bowel function.

2. VITAMIN A

Surprise! Some types of lettuce contain enough vitamin A to satisfy your entire day’s needs. Vitamin A is important for your immune system and is considered an antioxidant, which means it helps fight free radical damage and keep your body free of a range of health issues, including heart disease and cancer.

3. IRON

Most leafy greens contain some amount of iron. This nutrient is particularly important for women since we lose blood each month during menstruation. It’s also vital during pregnancy, so you definitely don’t want to skimp on iron. Adding lettuce to your meal plan is a great way to increase your intake. Mix and match your favorite varieties to get the most benefit.

4. PROTEIN

It’s not much, but lettuce does offer a bit of protein. It’s nowhere near enough to meet the daily intake recommendations, but it certainly contributes. Add cheese, beans or seeds to your salad to increase the protein content of your meal. Protein is important for muscle function and it also plays a role in a huge number of bodily functions. A deficiency is pretty rare, but you don’t want to mess around with getting enough protein.

5. CALCIUM

Again, it’s not a ton of calcium, but it’s a good way to add a little bit to your diet. Calcium is great because it builds and maintains strong bones and teeth. Women need plenty of calcium, so it’s a good idea to be sure you’re getting enough each and every day. You can’t rely on lettuce alone, but you can definitely mix and match it with other calcium rich foods to help you meet your daily quota.

6. B VITAMINS

B Vitamins are necessary because they help convert your food into energy that your body uses to get through the day as well as to fuel exercise. Some of them only come from animal foods, but you can get a pretty good dose from some types of lettuce. Romaine is an especially great choice.

7. POTASSIUM

Potassium is a nutrient that helps regulate your blood pressure. Getting too low in this nutrient can mess with your heartbeat and even result in a heart attack. Lettuce might not be the best source, but it can really add to how much you get on a daily basis.

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Read more in All Women Stalk

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

7 ways to lose belly fat and sculpt your abs

by Diana White

 

Weight-Loss-1

 

Looking for ways to lose belly fat and sculpt your abs without exhausting workouts and special equipment? Although an abdominal equipment can help you tone your abs faster, most of this equipment can be absolutely useless and it doesn’t bring the promised results.

 

To get perfectly sculpted abs, you need a clean diet, lots of energy and the will to exercise each day. Consider using these 7 tips to lose belly fat and sculpt your abs. They do work!

1. Boost your cardio

You exercise every single day and you’re greatly disappointed because you’re not seeing any positive results. Don’t worry, just boost your cardio. Cardio can help you burn plenty of calories in a single workout as well as burn fat all over your body, including your belly.

2. Tighten your abs

One of the easiest ways to tighten your abs it to hold it for about 10-15 seconds, release and then relax. Do this easy tightening exercise at least 4 times a day and you will notice amazing results. The great news is that you can do this at work or when you are in line at the grocery store.

3. Drink 10-12 glasses of water daily

I know it can be hard to drink enough water each day, but you need to stay hydrated. Water hydrates you, flushes toxins out of your body and helps to reduce bloating. Make a habit of drinking 10-12 glasses of water each day so that you can get flat and sculpted abs without any abdominal equipment.

4. Give up sugar

Refined sugar which is usually found in cakes, cookies and most processed foods can cause bloating and it’s actually not good for your health. Well, sugar is very addictive and I know how it’s hard to give up it. However, if you want to improve your health and get sculpted abs, eliminate sugar from your diet.

5. Plank it out

The plank is one of the most effective exercises for total core strength and it can help you to sculpt your abs as well. Focus on right form, with the body in a straight line from head to toe. Start with 30-40 seconds and then work up to holding longer. You don’t need any expensive equipment to achieve sculpted abs. Just try out this tip and see the results!

6. Perform more abdominal exercises

The plank, crunches and side obliques are only a few of the most effective exercises that help lose belly fat and sculpt abs. To reach your goal, try to perform more abdominal exercises and make sure you stick to a clean diet and lead an active lifestyle.

7. Avoid late night snacking

Staying up late to browse the Internet or watch your favorite show can make you reach for unhealthy snacks. Even if you eat healthy snacks late at night, it can still increase your waistline. Go to bed earlier to avoid late night snacking and to lose belly fat. Late night snacking can ruin your diet and can even disturb your sleep throughout the night.

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Read more in Womanitely

 

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

7 easy ways to improve your workout

by Tara Zimliki

 

Black exercise lady

 

Exercising is the time to focus on the muscles you are working and achieving your goal results. To get the most out of your fitness sessions, you need to start looking at workouts as your workouts; you decide if you are going to succeed or fail.

 

Want to know the ways to improve your workout so that you can see great results? In a world of constant demands and obligations, there is no time for a wasted workout – only time to make the most out of your workout. You may have seen the person at the gym walking very slowly on the treadmill or someone lifting weights incorrectly, and this is a waste of time. You get out what you put in to your workouts, so why not make the most of every fitness moment. As a certified trainer, I teach clients daily how to make the most of their workouts. Let me share with you the ways to improve your workout:

1. ADD INTERVALS

To bring your workout to the next level, push yourself to add bursts of speed into your runs, elliptical, or cycling to increase your heart along with boosting your metabolism. Interval training is one of the best ways to improve your workout!

2. ADD SOME RESISTANCE TRAINING

To make the most out of the time you spend exercising, add some resistance training by pumping iron. Weight lifting will help you to build lean muscle so you will burn more calories even while at rest. Resistance training will help you to build muscle which is metabolically active tissue. This is a vital way to make the most out of working out!

3. FOCUS ON FORM

When you perform an exercise, focus on form. To make the most out of any workout, it is essential to focus on the proper way to perform the exercise. If you unsure what the proper form is, ask a trainer or search online for pictures.

4. MAKE IT YOUR WORKOUT

Exercising is the time to focus on the muscles you are working and achieving your goal results. To get the most out of your fitness sessions, you need to start looking at workouts as your workouts; you decide if you are going to succeed or fail. These decisions affect your results. So who do you want to be?

5. MAKE A MIND MUSCLE CONNECTION

When you exercise, think of the muscles you are working and tighten them. Focus on your motive when doing your workout. For example, if you are working your abs, tighten them and focus on your goal of sculpting your abs. Studies show you achieve more productive results when you get in the right mindset.

6. SWITCH UP YOUR LIFTING SPEED

To build lean long muscles, lift your dumbbells at a quicker pace. To build more muscle, slow down your lifting pace. This is because the slower you lift, the greater tears you cause to your muscle fiber.

7. RELAX FOR AN HOUR OR TWO EVERY DAY

Relax for an hour or two every day to assess the goals you have achieved and how far you have yet to go. To improve your workout, it is crucial to not be all work and no play. Everyone needs a little downtime to relax and rest your mind and body. So put up your feet, read a book, watch a show and relax for some time each day.

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Read more in All Women Stalk

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

Red meat, cola, caffeine & 7 others foods to avoid before going to bed

by Vanessa Luis

alg-chocolate

 

Chocolate bars are high in sugar and fat, which causes a sugar rush and can keep a person up for a long time. They also contain caffeine that is a known stimulant, which makes a person stay up longer. 

Most of us tend to lose sleep over stressful situations, so our last meal of the day, should not be one of the reason for our sleepless nights. What we chose to eat before we go to bed can drastically affect our sleeping patterns. While, there are some foods, which can induce sleep, other foods, particularly junk food or fired food can give us sleepless nights. So if you are looking for a good night’s rest, here are our top 10 foods to avoid before bedtime.

Caffeine:

Caffeine is a stimulant, which causes an effect on the brain, which enables people to stay awake. This effect can last for up to five hours after consumption before its effects wear off. So unless you want a sleepless night, skip that cup of coffee after dinner.

Alcohol:

You may think that a few glasses of alcohol will put you to sleep, but the truth is that it will only make you drowsy or make you pass out. Do not expect to have a good revitalising sleep after consuming alcohol.

Cola:

Many people cannot do without their glass of cola after dinner. Colas contain sugar and caffeine and will keep you up. Even if you try to sleep, you may keep waking up to pee as cola contains no nutritional value and is simply flushed out by the body.

Spicy food:

Most Indian food is spicy and can cause an increase in the amount of stomach acid, which could result in a burning feeling in your chest and stomach along with bloating and uneasiness. So chose a mildly spice meal before bedtime or ensure that you have your dinner at least three hours before you go to bed.

Red meat:

Red meat is filled with fats and proteins and takes a very long time to digest. If you consume red meat before bed, your body will be busy all night long trying to digest it and will therefore, cause uneasiness or even cramping. When you go to bed at night, your body also needs to rest, so avoid eating red meat before bedtime.

Fried food:

Fried food is an easy way to curb hunger pangs, but one should know that fried food like chips and French fries are high in saturated fats and take a long time to digest. When you try to sleep after consuming junk food, you may feel discomfort or even cramping. Try a quick veggie snack like raw carrots or nuts, if you feel hungry before bedtime.

Chocolate bar:

Chocolate bars are high in sugar and fat, which causes a sugar rush and can keep a person up for a long time. They also contain caffeine that is a known stimulant, which makes a person stay up longer. So, avoid eating a bar of chocolate before bedtime.

Candy:

A piece or several pieces of candy is usually an easy dessert substitute before bed. But a study published in The Journal of The Mind and Body, states that seven out of ten people have nightmares after consuming junk food like candy bars because they act like a trigger to create nightmarish brain waves. So, avoid eating candy and other hard boiled sweets before bedtime.

Ice-Cream:

Ice-cream may be comfort food, but it can have an adverse effect when consumed just before bed. Ice-cream contains fat, which is not easily digested. It also has a lot of sugar that makes you stay up late. To top it off, there are studies which show that consuming sugary foods before bedtime can cause nightmares and disrupt sleeping patterns.

Excess Fruits:

A small serving of fruits is the ideal after-meal dessert option but if you go overboard with fruits, you will have a sleepless night. This is because, fruits contain a lot of sugar, which can cause gas as this sugar ferments on the top of other foods in your stomach. This will lead to indigestion and cause you to twist and turn all night long.

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