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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.

Cycling Benefits

Cycling Benefits

Cycling Studies have found that cycling holds back the effects of aging and keeps your immune system young.

It helps you sleep better -

In a study where sedentary insomnia sufferers were asked to cycle for 20-30 minutes every other day resulted in a decrease in the time for insomniacs to fall asleep and sleep time increased by almost an hour. Exercising outside exposes you to broad daylight which helps get your circadian rhythm back in sync, and helps your body get rid of cortisol which is the stress hormone that can prevent deep, regenerative sleep.

Increases your brain power

Get pedaling if you want your grey matter to sparkle. Researchers found a five percent improvement in cardio-respiratory fitness from cycling led to improvement up to 15 percent in mental tests. That’s because cycling helps build new brain cells in the hippocampus which is the region responsible for memory that deteriorates from the age of 30. Cycling boosts blood flow and oxygen to the brain, which regenerates receptors, explaining how exercise helps ward off Alzheimer’s.

Longer lifespan

A study which compared over 2,400 identical twins found those who did the equivalent of just three 45-minute rides a week were nine years biologically younger, even after discounting other influences, like body mass index (BMI) and smoking. Those who exercise regularly are at significantly lower risk of many problems like cardiovascular disease, type two diabetes, all types of cancer, high blood pressure and obesity. By cycling, the body becomes much more efficient at defending itself and regenerating new cells.

Saves the planet

At least twenty bicycles can be parked in the same space as one car. It takes just five percent of the materials and energy used to make a car to build a bike, and to top it all, a bike produces zero pollution. Bikes are efficient, you travel around three times as fast as walking for the same amount of energy.

Helps you lose weight

A lot of people who want to exercise think that heading out for a jog is the best way to start slimming down. But while running does burn a ton of fat, it’s not feasible for you if you’re a little larger than you would like to be. If you think about it two to three times your body weight goes crashing through your body when your foot strikes the ground which is a waste of energy. Rather, start out on a bike where most of your weight is taken by the saddle, so your skeleton doesn’t take a battering.

Beats illness

As we all have heard, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, what we don’t know is riding is the way to keep the doctor at bay too. Moderate exercise makes immune cells more active, so they’ can fight off infection. In fact, studies have shown that people who cycle for 30 minutes, five days a week take about half as many sick days as couch potatoes.

Makes you happy

Even if you’re sad when you saddle up, cranking through the roads will lift your spirits. Any mild to moderate exercise releases natural good endorphins that help counter stress and makes you happy.

Make friends and keep healthy

The social side of riding could be benefiting you as much as the actual exercise and health benefits. Socializing releases the hormone oxytocin, which buffers the fight or flight response of the body. Those with the most friends reduce the risk of early death by more than 60 percent, reducing blood pressure and strengthening their immune system. There have been researches which concluded not having close friends or a confidants is as harmful as smoking or carrying extra weight. Add in the fitness element of cycling too and you’re a winner.

Heals your heart

Studies have shown that regular cycling can cut your risk of heart disease by 50 percent. There have also been researches that showed that 10,000 fatal heart attacks could be avoided each year if people kept themselves fitter. Cycling just 30 km a week reduces your risk of heart disease to less than half that of those who do not exercise.

Improves workload management

Your boss will appreciate what cycling does for your usefulness to the company. A study of 200 people carried out found that employees who exercised before work or at lunchtime improved their time and workload management as it boosted their motivation and their ability to deal with stress. Workers who exercised also felt their interpersonal performance was better and they took fewer breaks and found it easier to finish work on time.

As it’s rightly said, “Cyclers see considerably more of this beautiful world than any other class of citizens”. So, what are you waiting for? Grab that bicycle and get going!!

Self Hypnosis

Self Hypnosis

The word hypnosis comes from the Greek word “hypos” which means sleep. It is an abbreviation of the word neuro-hypnotism which means, ‘sleep of the nervous system’. Hypnosis reminds us of swinging pendulums and audiences being made to cluck like chickens whereas in reality hypnosis is much more than an amusing magician’s trick. It’s a medically accepted technique that uses innate mental powers to promote all kinds of mental and physical improvements.

Self-hypnosis is a naturally arising state of mind which can be defined as a heightened state of focused concentration. Under this, you can change your thinking, kick bad habits, and take control of the person you are along with relaxation and distressing from everyday life. It's just like meditation and results in a better version of you. It is almost always guided by a narrator who guides you into hypnosis by guiding your thoughts and giving you suggestions.

Hypnosis does not mean:

  • Mind control
  • Brain-washing
  • Sleep
  • Unconsciousness
  • Peculiar altered state
  • Mystical state

When in hypnosis a person is:

  • Alert
  • In control
  • In a natural state
  • Harmless
  • Capable of coming out of hypnosis when she/he wishes to

Self-hypnosis is often used to improve behavior, emotions, and attitudes. For instance, many people use self-hypnosis to help deal with the problems of everyday life. It can boost confidence and even help people develop new skills. A great stress reliever, it can also be used to overcome habits such as smoking, drinking, and overeating. Sportsmen and women can enhance their athletic performance with self-hypnosis, and also people suffering from physical pain or stress-related illnesses also find it very helpful (hypnosis should be done under the guidance of a doctor or qualified therapist).

Let’s talk about one of the most popular and effective forms of self-hypnosis -

  • Sit in a comfortable chair without crossing your legs and feet -
  • Do not indulge in a large meal before doing this so that you don’t feel bloated or uncomfortable. Sit in a chair because lying down on a bed will make you want to sleep. Also, wear loose clothes and take off your shoes. If you wear contact lenses, it is better to remove them. and keep your legs and feet uncrossed.

    1. Look up at the ceiling and take a deep breath -

    Do not strain your neck or tilt your head too far back. Pick a point on the ceiling and fix your eyes on that point. When you keep your eyes fixed on that point take in a deep breath and hold it for 3-5 seconds and then breathe out. Silently say, “My eyes are tired and I want to sleep now”. Repeat this process to yourself a couple of times and, if your eyes have not already done so, close them and relax in a normally closed position. Say it as you mean it in a gentle, soothing but convincing manner. Some other examples - To relieve stress at work you can use: ‘I am relaxed at work’. For an addictive habit, like smoking/drinking, you may use: ‘I am a non-smoker/non-alcoholic’. To reduce your nervousness before a public speaking event you may say: ‘I am a confident speaker’

    1. Allow your body to relax -

    Allow your body to become loose and limp in the chair. Slowly and with intention count down silently from five to zero and tell yourself that with each and every count you’re becoming more and more relaxed. Stay in this relaxed state for a couple of minutes and focus on your breathing. Observe the rising and falling of your diaphragm and chest. You will realize how relaxed your body is becoming without you even having to try and relax it. The less you try, the more relaxed you will become.

    1. When ready, come back to the room counting up from one to five -

    Tell yourself that you are becoming more alert of your surroundings and at the count of five you will open your eyes. Count up from one to five in a lively manner. At the count of five, you open your eyes and stretch your arms and legs.

    Repeat this technique three or four times and analyze how with each time you reach a deeper level of relaxation. However, if you feel you do not relax as much as you would like, do not force it.

    Some people feel a little spaced out or sleepy after they come out of the hypnosis. This is similar to waking up from an afternoon nap. It is harmless and passes after a few moments.

    Failing to achieve a goal does not mean you are a failure. It could be that you need to approach the goal in a different way or that you need to be persistent. Practice self-hypnosis regularly. Take your time. Relax. Accept the speed at which you achieve results, however small they may seem at first. Believe in yourself and you will go on to achieve the success you desire.

    Why is Exercise Important for Children?

    Why is Exercise Important for Children?

    A balanced diet and exercise are very important for proper growth and development of young children. With all the technological advancement in today’s world, most children are investing their time in modern gadgets rather than spending their time outdoors. These lifestyle changes are making children more prone to various health problems where obesity is at the top on the list.

    Interaction with technology, urbanized lifestyle, academic pressures combined with other factors has led to creating historically low rates of youth physical activity. Parents, teachers and fitness educators must realize and educate others about the importance of frequent physical activity for kids. Awareness and support for this is more important now than ever because it has never before been as disruptive to our adult lives.

    Your kids do not need to go to the gym or see a workout video to learn some exercise. But yes, they do need to exercise, as does everyone, in the form of simple physical activity. Kids need to stay active. It not only is important for their physical well-being but it is equally important for their mental development. There are various reasons why exercise for children is important.

    Let’s list a few here -

    • It helps them improve focus.
    • It helps in strengthening the immune system of children.
    • It releases the feel-good hormone called endorphins that keep the children in high spirits and in a happy mood.
    • It keeps the child’s heart healthy and cardiovascular problems in check.
    • It helps in strengthening the lungs of the kids.
    • It helps in keeping the cholesterol levels at bay.
    • It regulates the blood pressure in children.
    • It helps in maintaining good brain health and also improves their memory.
    • It is effective in avoiding obesity.
    • It keeps their bones strong.
    • It helps in preventing various types of cancers in children.
    • It helps in releasing the good hormones and stops the bad ones.
    • It helps in fighting various infections and allergies.
    • It helps them sleep better.

    Now let’s discuss ways to encourage exercise for children -

    Become a role model for your children: A very important way to encourage exercise for children is through modeling healthy behaviors in your own life. Kids constantly pick up cues on how they should behave and act based on what they observe us doing. we need to exercise ourselves to encourage it in our children. Just telling your children to stay active is not enough. You need to specifically show our children on a daily basis what a healthy active lifestyle looks like. The kids should see you exercising and breaking a sweat and that’s how they’ll eventually know the importance of exercise and include it in their daily lifestyle.

    Promote activities appropriate for the age: While your teenager might want to join a community basketball league, your kindergartner might not want to do the same activity. Don’t try to force your children into the same activity, it should depend on their age and personality. For younger children, activities like a walk in the park or swimming can be involved. Older children could join school sports teams, classes for karate, dance, horse riding, basketball, yoga, etc. The crucial time to build bones starts before the teen years and lasts till the mid-20s, that is the time when bones grow to their maximum thickness. You as a parent can help your kids prevent the onset of osteoporosis by encouraging them to do weight-bearing activities like jump rope, running games, pivoting and balancing.

    You can always consult a pediatrician and figure what’s the right activity for your child and what isn’t.

    Instill activities as a family: Go out as a family. There are many things that you can do with your children. For eg, on the weekends you can go to the park or the beach or an outdoor venue to play football, cricket or frisbee together. Getting out of the house removes most of the temptations that keep us sitting such as watching TV or being on the computer/phone. Fun physical activities and mental stimulation with family and friends in an encouraging environment give children the sense that they've achieved something new and challenging. They feel better and happy. By getting out together you can find more ways to connect all while reinforcing a healthy active lifestyle.

    Why is exercise important for children? Redcheri Blog

    Limit the usage of gadgets: These days nearly every house has not one but multiple TVs, cell phones, tablets, and computers at their disposal nearly 24 hours a day. With such availability even if one wants to escape technology, it’ll be very difficult. While screens do provide some benefits, but the downsides are massive and can possibly complicate some issues such as ADHD and sleep problems. They also limit ones physical activity making them inactive and stagnant. Having too much of anything can remove its positive benefits and turn it into negative. For screen time, this is especially true because it takes over all your time and energy and drains your health.

    You as a parent need to set limits on the use of TV and computers and even phones on a regular basis. If you don’t do this, your children will simply settle for playing video games every free minute they get. Putting limits on the time they have to play games and watch TV will force them to find more creative and active ways to get energy out.

    Conclusion

    Our society and culture have changed so much over the years that for some of us exercise feels almost unnatural. Children who twenty to thirty years ago would spend all day playing outside, now sit inside all day. This process needs to get reversed. Exercise for children doesn’t have to be difficult, it should be a no brainer. All you need to do is get moving. For children, you need to encourage them to do physical activity for at least 30 to 60 minutes every day. Movement boosts attention and energy levels due to improved circulation and blood flow. This helps their body to deliver more oxygen and essential nutrients to your tissues, which, in turn, allows them to do more and feel better throughout the day. Exercise can be a lot of fun for all age groups. Get active today and move towards a better and healthy lifestyle for your kids and for yourself.  

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