Thursday, 27 April 2017

Fitfam! Stage 1, nutrition

Staying fit is a great bonus to life and can lead you to be a happy and healthier person. By staying fit and healthy you not only look and feel better, but you decrease your chance of medical problems such as diabetes, heart attacks, high cholesterol and hypertension. There are many helpful strategies to keep fit and stay healthy that, with dedication and ambition, can be done.
Getting into the habit of eating well and working out consistently is hard enough. Staying healthy and fit is even harder. Until you get into a good rhythm and form healthy habits, it can be challenging to figure out how to stay at your physical best without obsessing over it. Here are easy habits you can start forming today to help you stay healthy and fit for the long-term.

We are what we eat
All the foods we eat are processed in some way, but foods that undergo chemical processing, which means they are made from ingredients that aren’t real, thus making them high in sugar and low in the nutrients we actually need to fuel our bodies and keep us healthy, should be avoided.
As a general rule, try to limit the number of pre-packaged, non-perishable food items you buy, foods such as chips, granola bars and frozen meals. Purchasing perishable items, such as yogurt, bread and fresh produce, is a sign that what you’re buying more closely resembles foods your body can easily digest and use for fuel.

Get rid of any junk food
 It is one of the most important components of a fit lifestyle. Many people ignore it, but if you exercise and eat a lot of junk food you will not get any fitter. This is because the junk food turns to fat almost immediately. Junk foods contain little to no nutrition and are high in sodium and sugar. Because of this, your body sugar levels drop after consumption and you end up feeling fatigued with a major lack of energy.

 Foods to avoid are:
High in sugar: Donuts, cakes, cookies, pudding, cereals, canned and dried fruits, and sodas.
High in fat: Processed meats, butter, hydrogenated oil (coconut and palm kernel), shortening, cheese and animal fats. Please note: although cheese is high in fat, it is also high in protein which is a great nutrient for the body. Aged and less processed cheeses are the best solution.
High in cholesterol: Egg yolk, fried foods and mayonnaise.
Avoid anything containing: High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and Monosodium glutamate (MSG).

Eat healthy
 Maintaining a balanced diet can be difficult to do if you do not have the time to cook for yourself every day. But, it is easy to find healthy solutions in restaurants and take-outs as well. You will find that maintaining a healthy and balanced diet can increase energy and productivity, boost your metabolism and make you a happier person because you will be consuming the nutrients and vitamins your body needs.

 Foods to eat are:
Fresh fruits and vegetables: Melons, bananas, apples, oranges, carrots, onions, broccoli and corn, etc. (Please note: These fruits and veggies should be fresh, not canned. You can sauté vegetables in extra virgin olive oil for better taste). If you make a salad, the more colorful the better!
Organic meats: Fish, poultry and beef for protein. Instead of frying the meats, try to bake them with extra virgin olive oil or lemon juice with herbs.
Grains: Whole wheat toast, oatmeal and pastas.

Foods high in protein: Tofu, soy beans, egg whites, nuts, cottage cheese and quinoa.
Foods high in fiber: Cooked lentils, black beans, green peas, pears, raspberries and oat bran.
Understand the difference between complex and simple carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are carbohydrates made of one or two molecules of sugar that have very little nutritional value. Complex carbohydrates are made from a string of sugars but are very rich in fibers and contain healthy vitamins and minerals.
Examples of simple carbohydrates: Sugars, syrups, jams and candy.
Examples of complex carbohydrates: Whole grain foods and vegetables.

Know when to eat
 It is really important to avoid skipping meals. A lot of people might think that you will lose weight by skipping a meal, but that is very inaccurate. In fact, skipping meals decreases the speed of your metabolism and can result in losing nutrition your body needs.

Drink a lot of water
 The human body is made of about 65-70% of water, and you need to keep replenishing it. Your body sweats a lot of that water so you need to put it back in.
The amount of water you should drink relies on how much you weigh. To calculate how much water you should be drinking, take your weight and multiply it by 67% (2/3). So, for instance, if you weigh 130 lbs. you should be drinking about 87 ounces of water per day.
If you are exercising, you will need to increase your amount of water intake to replenish what you are sweating out.

By: Umaru Maryam Hadejia 

Fitfam! Stage 2, exercise

Start walking, jogging or cycling
No matter what your speed is, walking, jogging and cycling are very important parts of a healthy lifestyle as they are activities that keep your muscles active and your blood flowing. If you need to keep your knees strong or have body aches and pains, then cycling is the best solution.
Come up with a daily walking, jogging or cycling routine that fits with your schedule (i.e. go for a jog everyday at 6:00 p.m.). After a while you can increase your distance, speed and eventually time.
Go out of your way to walk more. For example, if you go to the market, try to park in the farthest spot from the entrance so you are forced to walk those extra steps to get there.
Walk or bike to work. If you live close enough to work or school, a good solution would be to start walking or cycling.
If you jog, you should jog at least a kilometre to keep the fat off, but it is very important to pace yourself.

Exercise at home
 Not everyone has the time or money to go to the gym and there is no need to. Working out at home is very easy and can be very beneficial. Some at-home exercises include:
Push-ups. Use your weight against the floor or wall to work on your upper body strength.
Sit-ups. Sit-ups can be done by simply laying on the ground or, with a more advanced technique, with a chair or exercise ball.

 Yoga practices such as downward facing dog or sun salutations are easily done on the carpeted ground or on a yoga mat.

Exercise in the gym
 If you like the gym atmosphere and can afford the membership, then the gym is a great place to stay fit.
Utilise the machines for cardio and weights, but be careful and never use a weight that is too heavy. Use smaller weights and you will find that you will progress through the weights very rapidly.

Learn strength training and muscle toning techniques from an instructor or professional.

By: Umaru Maryam Hadejia 

Monday, 24 April 2017

Dealing with body odour

What is body odour? Body odour is the unpleasant smell produced by bacteria on the skin that break down the acids in your sweat. The medical term is bromhidrosis. Anyone who has reached puberty can produce body odour, as this is when the apocrine sweat glands develop, which produce the sweat that bacteria can quickly break down. Whenever you smell good, you tend to have more confidence, even when around others. If you, on the other hand, have an unpleasant smell, you should strive at finding resourceful ways to help you get rid of bad body odour fast.

The human body has many systems that are constantly at work, and waste by-products are simply part of that process. The digestive process results in waste, our skin sweats to excrete waste, and the cells in our bodies are constantly replacing themselves. Just as we take in food, we put out waste. Body odour often occurs when inadequate bathing or hygiene fail to properly clean up the 'messes' our bodies make. Sweat contains bacterial activity and allowing it to dry on the skin can produce body odour. But it can also result from systemic deficiencies within the body. In women, menstruation and stress often dramatically increases the degree of body odour. Yeast conditions such as candida can produce a beer-like smell, since yeast can turn sugar into alcohol quickly within the body. 
Foods rich in the amino acid carnitine (found in beef and pork) are known to leave residues in the intestines which have to be worked on by the natural digestive flora. Specific enzymes known as flavin monooxygenases break the residues down to an odourless state ready for excretion. If they are in poor supply, missing, or bowel flora is disturbed, a “fishy” body odour can result.

What's most important is that another function of the sweat glands in your armpits is to excrete toxins from your body. That is why sweating is an important part of maintaining optimum physical health. You have to give your body a chance to get rid of various toxins through a variety of metabolic processes. Those include urination, passing faecal matter, exhaling carbon dioxide and other toxins through the lungs, and, of course, eliminating toxins through the skin. The skin, remember, is your body's largest organ. Dangers can arise when we use 'anti-perspirant' deodorants, as these block the pores and do not allow the toxins to come out. Below are natural ways which will help you maintain an odourless body.

Shave those underarms
You might want to keep your underarms as dry as possible. This is because majority numbers of people with personal odour problem complain that armpit is where the odour comes from. Bear in mind that underarm hair can act as bacteria trapper, which will only make everything worse. Hence, shave or wax them consistently.

Wash Regularly
Bathing at least once a day can help limit the bacteria population on your skin, which is the source of most body odours, according to the Mayo Clinic. When washing, focus on traditionally troublesome areas like your feet and armpits. Dry your body well after washing since bacteria grow best on damp skin.

Make sure you dry yourself completely
 This is especially important in those areas that are prone to body odour: the groin, armpits, and around the nipples. Also ensure that any areas of skin folds (under the breasts, in the groin, at the abdomen) are completely dry.

Check Your Digestion and Gut Health
About 7% of people complaining of body odour do not completely digest particular foods because of enzyme deficiencies or digestive problems. So for regular support, persons with body odour should take a probiotic supplement, as this will help boost intestinal flora quality. Taking digestive enzymes with your meals may also be of benefit. Apple cider vinegar can also be effective in aiding digestion.

Lemon Juice
Lemon juice has an acidic property that helps reduce your skin’s pH level which ensures that the odour-producing bacterium does not survive. The good thing is that lemon juice is also excellent for people with sensitive skins who can’t tolerate other forms of remedies. You need to rub a half lemon under your arms by squeezing it onto your skin. In the case of sensitive skin, mix the lemon juice with some water and use a cotton ball to apply it. Leave it for 10 minutes and rinse off with water. Repeat this once or twice a day.

Apple Cider Vinegar
One of the best and natural bacteria-fighting ingredients is the Apple Cider Vinegar (AVC). It helps eliminate your bad body odour by balancing the pH levels of your skin. You can use a cotton ball to apply AVC on your problematic areas and leave it for 2-3 minutes, or mix a cup of it in a lukewarm bath water and leave it for 10 minutes before taking a shower. Research has also shown that you can drink AVC for better results in controlling sweat production.

By: Umaru Maryam Hadejia