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5 Summer Drinks to Keep You Cool

5 Summer Drinks to Keep You Cool

Summer is here and we’ve had our share of scorching hot temperatures already. Dealing with the hot summer days can be quite challenging with the heat waves, perspiration, dehydration, tanned skin and much more. Your diet needs to be full of cooling and hydrating ingredients so as to keep your body cool and hydrated all the time.
Sports drink companies would have you think that their products are the only option to stay cool and hydrated this summer, but that is not true! Those drinks are definitely good for the taste buds but not only are they loaded with artificial colors and flavors, they’re often sweetened with high fructose corn syrup and come in a plastic bottle. You can cool your body in a better and more healthy way and reduce your impact by making up your own summer drinks at home.
                          Here are a few great options 
Melon Puree
This drink is incredibly refreshing and simple to make. Melons are a great source of vitamin C, and when you make a puree instead of juice, you retain all of that healthy fiber. Here’s how to make your own melon puree:

> Slice up a honeydew melon into chunks.
> Blend until smooth - add a bit of water to thin things out if necessary.
> Put the puree in the fridge to chill before serving for extra cooling benefits.
> You could also make this with watermelon or any other sweet melon as well and it’s delicious.

Melon Puree

Aam Panna
Aam panna is an Indian drink known for its heat-resistant properties. It is made from raw mangoes and is yellow to very light green in color, and is devoured as a tasty and healthy beverage to fight against the intense Indian summer heat. It is not only refreshing but also energizing as well.
Ingredients - 500 gm green mangoes, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tsp salt, 2 tsp kala namak (black rock salt), 2 tsp roasted and powdered cumin seeds, 2 Tbsp finely chopped mint leaves, 2 cups water
Here’s how you make it:
> Boil the mangoes till they become soft inside and the skin loses its colour
> Once it’s cool, remove the skin and squeeze the pulp out of the mangoes
> Mix all the ingredients mentioned together, blend and add 2 cups of water
> Put some ice in the glasses and pour the panna over it
> Serve and enjoy the drink

Aam Panna

Cucumber & Mint Water
If you haven’t tried this, it might sound strange, but cold water with a couple of slices of cucumber and a sprig of mint is a splendid, cooling summer drink. You can serve this as one glass at a time or put together a whole pitcher to keep in the fridge. Here’s how to make an eight glasses of cucumber mint water:
> Combine a half of a sliced cucumber and 1/2 cup of finely chopped mint in a four quart pitcher
> Fill the pitcher off with 16 cups of water and chill until you’re ready to serve

Cucumber & Mint Water


Ginger Cooler
> A spicy drink might seem counter - intuitive in the summer season, however spicy foods actually help your body regulate its temperature. This ginger cooler will do the trick perfectly.
> Ingredients - 1/4th chopped ginger, 1/2c chopped mint leaves, one lemon’s juice, 6 cups sparkling water, sweetener of your choice, to taste
> Blend all the ingredients mentioned and serve chilled. You could strain this drink in case you don’t like the texture of the ginger and mint bits.

Ginger Cooler

Coconut Water
Coconut water is a house of health benefits. It’s rich in electrolytes and potassium, which makes it the best option for replenishing your body after exposure to the summer heat. Of course, it’s not so easy for most of us to find a young, green coconut. Luckily, now you can find cans or boxes of coconut water at most natural food stores. Unlike coconut milk, coconut water is low in fat and calories. You can drink your coconut water chilled or add a squeeze of lime to brighten it up.

Coconut Water

Chandan Sharbet
Chandan (sandalwood) has great cooling properties and drinking chandan can revitalise us during the hot season. The unique chandan ka sherbet is a perfect summer drink. Just take a sip of this superb summer delight to enjoy its refreshing and cooling taste.
How to make it :
> Rub the sandalwood piece with some water on a wooden rolling board till you get two teaspoon of sandalwood paste
> Take half a cup of water in a small bowl - add some saffron to it and heat until it dissolves completely
> Transfer the saffron mixture to a larger bowl - add the sandalwood paste, lemon juice, sugar, cardamom powder, salt and mix it well
> Refrigerate the drink for some time.

# Instead of turning up that air conditioner this summer, you can fall on some refreshing summer drinks to cool your body from inside out.

Chandan Sharbat

The Most Essential Nutrient: Water

The Most Essential Nutrient: Water

Nutrients don't come only in the form of food. Water is the most important nutrient, and very often most forgotten. You can last for some time without food, but not without water. Your body mass contains about 70 percent to 75 percent of water, with fat-containing much less, about 10 percent to 40 percent of water. Due to the increased muscle mass, men's and athletes' bodies contain more water than the ones with proportionately lower muscle and higher fat, for example, non-athletic women, people who are overweight and people who are older.

Water is very essential for important biochemical reactions, supplying nutrients and removing waste. It is necessary for maintaining blood circulation throughout your body. It also maintains the body temperature.

As you exercise, your metabolism and your internal body temperature increases. Water carries heat away from your internal organs before any damage occurs, which otherwise could lead to heat stroke or even death. The heat travels through the bloodstream to your skin which causes you to sweat and as the sweat evaporates, it allows you to cool off and maintain safe body temperature, ideal functioning, and health.

Daily water intake has to be balanced with losses to retain total body water. Losing body water can adversely affect your body’s functioning and health. When you start feeling thirsty, you've probably lost around 1 percent of your body water which will leave you dehydrated. If you have a 2 percent water loss, you could face serious fatigue and cardiovascular impairments. It's essential to keep in mind that individual liquid needs differ depending on your sweat rate, the environmental temperature, the clothing, humidity, and some other factors.

Summer is here, the sun is out, the grass is green, and you’re ready to take part in all those outdoor activities, beautiful hikes and perfect pool afternoons that you dreamed about all winter. But as the mercury rises, you need to pay attention to one important aspect of your health - your hydration

Things to do -

  • Drink enough water to prevent dehydration.
  • Keep a check on fluid loss by checking the color of your urine. It should be pale yellow and not dark yellow.
  • For short-duration and low to moderate intensity activity, water is a must to drink before, during and after exercise.
  • Any time you exercise in extreme heat or for a long time, supplement water with a sports drink that contains electrolytes and 6 percent to 8 percent carbohydrates. This prevents "hyponatremia" which dilutes your blood and can also lead to serious impairment.
  • Avoid exercising with a hangover.
  • Have enough fruits and vegetables in a day for optimum health. They all contain various levels of water and important nutrients essential to the body.
  • Another option is to replace fluid and sodium losses with watery foods that contain salt and potassium, such as soup and vegetable juices.
  • Drinking a predetermined number of ounces throughout the day (such as at meals, and before, during, and after a workout) will also keep you on track.
  • Chia Seeds - When you consume water-logged chia seeds before exercise or a day in the sun, they will progressively release the water as your body digests them, keeping your system hydrated

Water is truly the decoction of life. As you experience all the wonderful milestones of summer, remember to have plenty of water and eat a diet rich in hydrating whole fruits and vegetables to keep you going strong and healthy all summer. Your body and mind will thank you.

Strengthening Your Mind

Strengthening Your Mind

With more or less every second person wanting to hit the gym, people are aware that exercise is very important for the body. While you might know that you need to exercise your body, did you also know that it might also be essential to exercise your mind?

Brain training is all the rage these days, often referred to as a way to sharpen your mind and even boost intelligence. While many scientists suggest that the claims surrounding brain training are both exaggerated and misleading, there is a lot of research suggesting that certain types of activities can be very beneficial for your brain's health.

If you want to take care of your mind, you have to start by taking care of your body. Research has shown that people who engage in healthy behaviors like exercise and proper nutrition are less likely affected by cognitive decline associated with the aging process. Studies have also suggested that exercise can make you smarter and protect your brain from shrinking with age. Exercise also helps in the generation of new brain cells. Go for a walk, include fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet and try to give up any bad habits like alcohol consumption or tobacco use, if you do this your brain will thank you for years to come.

Challenge your brain by actually drawing a map of your town or neighborhood from your memory. Try and include the major streets, major side streets and local landmarks. Once you are done, compare it with the real map. You might be surprised at some of the things you forgot to mention. If you found this activity easy, try drawing a less familiar area from your memory, like the map of the entire United States or Europe, and try to label every state or country.

Learn something new - It is one way to keep your brain on its toes. For example, learn a new language, learn to play a musical instrument or learn a new hobby. This will not only help you stretch your mind, but you will also be continuously learning something new as you keep expanding your skills and becoming more accomplished.

In a research older adults were assigned to learn a variety of new skills varying from digital photography to quilting. After that, they did a memory test and compared the experimental groups to control groups. Those in the control groups had engaged in activities that were fun but not mentally challenging like watching movies and listening to music. The study found that only the participants who indulged in learning new skills experienced improvement on the memory tests. Nevertheless, these memory improvements were still present when tested again a year later.

This might sound vague but you can use your non-dominant hand to strengthen your mind. Using your opposite hand will be challenging and can be a great way to increase brain activity. Switch your hands while you are eating dinner or when you are trying to write something down. It will not be easy, but that is exactly the point. The most effective brain activities are those that are difficult to tackle.

Studies have also suggested that people who are active socially are also at a lower risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Socializing often tends to engage multiple areas of the brain and many social activities also include physical elements, such as playing a sport which is also beneficial to your mind.

Even if you are an introvert, seeking social interactions can be beneficial to your brain in both the short and long-term. You can engage yourself socially by signing up for volunteer opportunities in your community, joining a club, signing up for a local walking group and staying in close touch with your friends and family.

Another helpful brain exercise which might actually be extremely effective is meditation. Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is all the rage at the moment, adopted by positive psychologists, business leaders, and alternative health practitioners. Meditation can help engage new neural pathways, improves self-observational skills and increases mental flexibility. It also improves attention, focus, empathyand even immunity.

All of these exercises can have major long-lasting effects on the health and vitality of your brain. Love yourself and help your brain reach its full potential.

Treadmill vs Running Outside

Treadmill vs Running Outside

The argument over whether running outside or on a treadmill is "better" is not something new. Some people will tell you that running outdoors improves steadiness. Others will insist that a treadmill helps you sustain speed and performance levels that might otherwise lag outdoors.

Ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer to this argument. Both methodologies have their own pros and cons based on your individual training needs and goals.

Treadmills -

Treadmills are one of the most famous pieces of cardiovascular equipment both at home and in gyms.

Some advantages of treadmill running:

  1. There are no weather and temperature restrictions
  2. You can stop any point you want
  3. The cushioned, smooth surface is not hard on the joints
  4. You can use the washroom whenever you feel the need
  5. You can do it alone and at any hour of the day
  6. The treadmill leaves you free of all hazards for eg, inattentive people on the wrong side of the road, cars, etc.
  7. It gives you greater kinesthetic sense since you can watch your form in front of a mirror.

While treadmills are considered the safer option by most users, there are also plenty of treadmill-related injuries each year. These include sprains, falls, head injuries, and cardiovascular events in people who either ran too fast or overexerted. Another important point to notice is that most treadmills do not have a downward incline feature which you need to strengthen the anterior tibialis muscles at the front of your legs. Then there are no turns on a treadmill machine, which puts restrictions on your ability to improve your lateral agility.

Outside Running

While elite athletes use a treadmill as part of their training routine, they do the majority of their running outdoors on tracks, trails, or pavement.

The advantages of outside running are rather simple:

  1. You do not need an expensive gym membership
  2. You can even train when you’re traveling
  3. It provides sport-specific training for road races
  4. You can enjoy nature and breathe in some fresh air
  5. It can be more motivating as it requires you to complete a set distance rather than just stepping off a machine.

Outdoor running also brings a risk of injury. According to research, anywhere from 7.2 percent to 50 percent of runners encounter some sort of injury. Knee injuries are by far the most common, followed by the less common ones namely lower leg, foot, and ankle injuries. It can also be unsafe due to cars, stray dogs, etc.

Conclusion

Athletes can get the same workout by running on a treadmill or outside provided they maintain the same effort level. But "effort," here is a highly variable measure which is based not only on the heart rate but a phenomenon is known as perceived exertion. Perceived exertion refers to how difficult you consider an activity to be, irrespective of how your body responds to that activity. It is important because we tend to give up sooner if something is perceived to be difficult. This psychological component can influence how much we get out of one exercise compared to the next.

If your main intention is to maintain your cardiovascular fitness goals, a treadmill may be all that you really require. By pairing the exercise with an accurate pulse monitor, you can push yourself in the right way while still keeping well within your maximum heart rate (MHR).

On the other hand, if you are training for a race event, you will definitely benefit more from running outdoors. While you can incorporate treadmill running to improve your cardio health, you should limit it to not more than 40 percent of your overall training.

If you run outdoors, your muscles and joints will be more conditioned to the varied terrain you'll encounter in a race. You'll be able to adapt to changes in the weather better and also be able to figure when to exert extra effort when faced with elevations or known obstacles.

Body Weight Training

Body Weight Training

For many, weight training reminds them of bodybuilders pumping iron in pursuit of beefy biceps and bulging pecs. But experts say it’s long overdue to discard those antiquated notions of what resistance training can do for your physique and health. Modern exercise science has shown that working with weights whether it’s a lightweight dumbbell or your own body may be the best exercise for lifelong physical function and fitness. Body-weight training is the most universal type of exercise. It’s simple, efficient, and accessible, also, everybody has a body.

Resistance training is the most important form of training for general health and wellness. A lot of people think of weight training as an exercise that augments muscle size and strength, which is somewhat true. But the “load” that this form of exercise puts on bones and their supporting muscles, tendons, and ligaments is probably a bigger deal when it comes to health and physical function.

When you’re young, bone reabsorption is balanced and is sometimes exceeded by new bone tissue generation. But later on in life, bone tissue losses acceleration and surpasses the creation of new bones. That acceleration is especially pronounced among people who are inactive and women who have reached or passed menopause. This loss of bone tissue leads to the weakness and postural problems that many older adults are victims of.

Resistance training defeats all those bone losses and postural deficits. Through a procedure known as bone remodeling, strength training stimulates the growth of bone osteoblasts which are the cells that build bones back up. While you can gain some of these bone benefits through aerobic exercise, especially in your lower body, resistance training is genuinely the most efficient way to maintain and enhance total-body bone strength.

Strength training is also a potent antidote to inflammation, a major risk factor for heart diseases and other conditions. A study linked regular resistance training with inflammation-quelling shifts in the body’s levels of cytokines, a type of immune system protein. Another study found that when overweight women did weekly resistance training sessions, they had a significant drop in several markers of inflammation.

Strength training improves focus and cognitive function, better balance, less anxiety, and greater well-being.

It was believed that you needed to lift heavy loads in order to build muscle and achieve a lot of these benefits which isn’t true. Lifting until your muscles are near the point of giving up is the real key, regardless of how much weight you’re using. This is a huge boon to adhere because many older adults or those with injuries or joint issues cannot pick up heavy loads.

When we add strength almost every health outcome is better. Earlier strength training was thought of something for athletes but now it is recognized as a seminal part of general health and well-being at all ages. In addition to building muscle, strength training also betters the muscle's ability to take in the glucose and improves the blood sugar level.

  • If you are a beginner who is in awe of the gym, bodyweight training is what you should start with. If you already have some strength training experience and you don't have a whole lot of time, it may be best to use free weights. To use your body weight in strength training exercises, do exercises like squats, lunges, abdominal crunches, pushups, pullups or step-ups. Keep the movements smooth and controlled. Strengthen the opposing muscles, like the chest and back muscles, and strive for muscle balance. 
  • Find a program and stick to it. Pick a program that you like and stick to it. It's essential to stick to one strength training program and this is especially true with bodyweight exercises where progressions may add an additional layer of difficulty. Don't venture off on your own till you know what you're doing.

A lot of different kinds of body weight exercises can be performed to work all of the major muscle groups. And bodyweight exercises can be done anywhere, no extra equipment, at no extra cost, is required. Always remember to use proper form and technique throughout each bodyweight exercise in order to get the most advantage and avoid injury. Also keep in mind to take at least one day off between exercising each specific muscle group, in order to give your muscles enough time to get better.

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