Drink Your Water.

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The body is 50-70% water, depending on age and body fatness, and a loss of only 3-4% adversely affects aerobic performance.

Drinking water might sound boring, it might not be the tastiest beverage. It has no calories but, the benefits are out of this world. According to a study that was published in the European Journal of Neurology, drinking more water can help reduce the intensity and length of headaches. Our body and its systems, only function optimally if there is proper circulation of Oxygen and nutrients in the bloodstream.

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BENEFITS OF HYDRATION.

a)Aids in digestion and constipation.

If your body does not have enough water, the colon pulls water from the stools in order to maintain hydration making it harder to pass as a result.  Water, especially if taken warm improves the function of your tract by helping it break down food well and promote bowel movement. If it takes you two, three, seven days before you make those visits, exercise, fruits, veggies and most importantly water should be your best friends.

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To avoid potential problems associated with dehydration, you should drink water before, during and after exercise.
b)Relieves fatigue

Fatigue is one of the first signs of dehydration aside from a thirsty throat. Inadequate hydration causes the blood volume to drop. Consequently, your heart works harder to pump Oxygen into the bloodstream. Other organs also work less efficiently.

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c) Weight loss

You must have heard, before, water has zero calories. Drinking water ensures your organs work optimally. This increases metabolism, allowing your body to burn more fat.

For exercise lasting less than less than an hour, the focus should be on water replacement. When exercise duration exceeds an hour, drinks can contain sodium and calcium to help restore the electrolyte balance.

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d)For your skin

Consuming enough water hydrates your skin, diminishes the appearance of wrinkles and it flushes toxins out of the body.

Water allows nutrients and Oxygen travel to organs and cells. Water also regulates our body temperatures and is good for our joints lubrication.

Our bodies are made of 70% water for a good reason. Treat yourself well with 8 or more glasses of water every day as we all strive for the healthy community.

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SLEEP HYGIENE.

Regular exercise, healthy nutrition, adequate sleep and stress management are the bedrock of a good wellness plan. To be fit and healthy, it is essential to strike a balance between your exercise, your nutritional needs and your rest and recovery. Maybe we should start by asking everyone ” how good is your sleep on a scale of 1-10, ten being a sound 8-9 hour of sleep and one being barely an hour of sleep. How is your sleep hygiene?”According to research published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, sleep ensures that your body is able to complete the necessary cycles of repair and recovery to achieve muscle growth after a workout.

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Regular exercise, healthy nutrition, adequate sleep and stress management are central to a good wellness plan.

When we think of building muscle mass, the first thing on our minds is spending hours in the gym. Next, we think of diet and nutrition, but very few of us ever stop to think of how vital sleep is to muscle hypertrophy, the ‘muscle building’ process. Stress caused by lack of enough sleep increases cortisol levels in the body, a hormone that aids in the breakdown of muscle tissue and inhibits muscle growth. It counteracts testosterone which is primarily the hormone responsible for muscle growth. A contest, we have no business engaging in, especially if our goal is to build some muscle.

Sleep is the longest period your body has between meals to synthesize protein. Chronic lack of sleep lowers immune system functioning and increases one’s risk of high blood pressure and heart disease AND impaired memory.

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During a workout, microscopic tears occur to our muscles, which must be repaired to grow the muscle tissue. Without adequate sleep, however, your body won’t be able to restore the damage done to your muscles during training.  Usually, the body begins to synthesize proteins to repair and build muscle mass after absorbing nutrients and sleep provides a period when your muscles can rest, recover and get on with the process of creating new muscle tissue. Yes, you need to relax and recover optimally to prepare your body for the next workout.

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Sleep provides a period where your muscles can rest, recover and get on with the process of building new muscle tissue.

Nearly half of men and women over 60 years experience insomnia. In general older people sleep less, wake up and go back to sleep more often, and spend less time in deep sleep than younger people. Enjoy it while it lasts young people, you should take advantage. Our bodies generally love routines.  We like to hit cruise control so that we can operate with the least input. Just us, being humans, mammals. Not an excuse to lie around the whole freaking day though. Move that body.

Just in case you never got a chance to rest well the previous night and feel exhausted, there is entirely no harm in taking the day off to recover and focus more on hydration and nutrition. Let the body allow stress hormones, brought about by the lack of adequate sleep, to normalize. Among the effects include lowered concentration and energy levels, impaired memory and, slower reaction time. Your workout on such a day won’t be productive. Tissue repair will be compromised, and you will increase your risk of injury.

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When exhausted and slept very little the night before, maximize your nutrition and give yourself a day to recover.

For better sleep avoid taking alcohol or coffee right before you go to bed. Engage in same activities (work, eat or exercise) at the same time most days of the week.  Similarly, make a habit to get up and to sleep at the same time most days of the week. Athletes who travel across time zones will understand better. Their bodies fall out of synch, and they felt off and disoriented because their biological clocks which are guided by light (day) and darkness (night) are interfered with.  Although exercise lifts moods and reduces stress, be careful not to work out too late or within some hours of your bedtime. It might release endorphins, the famous feel-good (high) hormones that can cause sleeplessness.

Change is usually slow and gradual, requires hard work and a fair amount of sacrifice plus a lot of patience. At Feel Fitness, we are all about making positive shifts to feel our best. All good habits can be strengthened by regular exercise and practice. While every bit of progress comes from making difficult changes and sustaining them for a period of time until they become sustainable, it is unquestionably beneficial to have 6-8 hours of sleep each night.

If you got any fitness or nutritional matters, you would love us to address dear readers leave a comment below. We will be glad to help and follow us @ Feel Fitness Kenya on youtube and facebook to enjoy our offers and get more fitness tips for a healthy community.

King of the fruit jungle.

 

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Your child can’t concentrate in school, pack them a mango. It aids in concentration and memory.

The long mango season is just about to end, many at times we get carried away by its low price, sweet heavenly taste that we forget how healthy the mango as a fruit is. We can all agree that diet is an area in our lives in which we have almost total control, maybe not so real for everyone. Every bit of progress, when it comes to exercise and diet results from making difficult changes and sustaining them for periods of time until they become sustainable. After all, we are what we eat. What we eat in private, will show off in public. Just in case you didn’t know why the mango is considered king in the fruit jungle…we thought you should.

PERFECT SNACK

Instead of snacking unhealthily on chips, cookies, and sugary flavored drinks, do mango slices. They are rich in Vitamin C which is an excellent immune booster. They are great for maintaining eye health and good vision due to their vitamin A content. The carotene they contain also slows down aging and promotes new cell growth in the body. It makes an excellent snack to pack for our kids for school. It will also aid in concentration and memory.

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Mangoes are rich in antioxidants which are great immune boosters and agents of staying young forever.

FIGHTS CANCER.

The mango contains antioxidants that protect the body against colon, breast, prostate cancers and leukemia. Due to its high iron source, anemia and menopausal and pregnant women can indulge to increase iron levels.

ALKALIZES THE BODY

They are rich in tartaric, malic and contain traces of citric acid that primarily help in maintaining the alkali reserve of the body. They are rich in Potassium which helps balance out high Sodium levels in the body protecting us against heat stroke or dehydration.

MAKES SKIN LOOK, FEEL YOUNGER

Mangoes are a standard part of almost every face mask or scrub because they contain several antioxidants. Vitamin B6 and other Vitamin B they contain helps in hormone production, brain and heart disease prevention.

225mg of a mango contains

76% Vitamin C

25% Vitamin A

11% Vitamin B12

9% Copper

9% Healthy probiotic fiber

7% Potassium

4% Magnesium.

 

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Many times we get carried away by its sweet heavenly taste that we forget the countless health benefits of a mango fruit.

Which is your favorite fruit?

 

GYM ETIQUETTE.

 

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Unload and return the weights to their designated spot on the rack. You or someone else might trip on the weights.

In any space where more than one gather we have the unspoken code of conduct. Even at the gym, a place where tank tops, profuse sweating and mild grunting are perfectly acceptable- there are rules of etiquette. The social graces expected might be different from those at the office, home, church or parking lot but manners are important just the same. Most gyms might not hand you the “golden rules handbook’ but once you learn how you are expected to act, you will feel a lot more at home in your club.

Common sense, however, is like a cloud of perfume and sadly, those who need it most, don’t bother to use it. Here are some of the most aggravating gym pratfalls according to a few everyday gym goers and personal trainers. Drop us a comment and let us know the one that annoys the most. Did we leave out some?Follow us on Feel Fitness Kenya.

  • Take a Sick-Off

Respiratory infections spread quickly in close quarters, including gyms and are the main reason, all facilities need to be spacious and well ventilated. Usually, these viruses are transmitted through droplets from other people’s coughs and sneezes, and most can live a little while outside the body.

In fairness to non-sick fellow fitness buffs, if you have to get some exercise in while you’re battling flu, you should opt for a home workout – perhaps your favorite fitness DVD or outdoor conditioning. A gym isn’t the only place you can break some sweat as you torch calories, but in case you do, be mindful of others by scheduling your workout during off-peak hours. Be sure to properly sanitize all the equipment you use in your workout and wash your hands too. Take precautions, even if no one seems outwardly ill. “People are spreading these viruses before they even realize they’re sick.”

  • Obey Cardio Machine Time Limits

In a gym, weight equipment is considered communal property. Some gyms have been forced to limit the time spent on cardio machines during peak hours. Time limits are set to ensure the opportunity for every participant to make the most out of their time at the gym, especially during busy hours. Many studies show that well-crafted shorter workouts burn more calories and are fun. Length is not a substitute for intensity when it comes to working out.

  • Dress Appropriately.
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Keep several sets of gym clothes and shoes throughout the week and wash them regularly.

There is a time, and a place for short-shorts, barely-there tank tops, loose and baggy clothes but the gym isn’t it, these are, put merely fashion hazards. Wearing clothing that provides appropriate coverage and a right fit allows you to comfortably and safely go through your workouts, from jump squats to downward facing dog with confidence and ease. If your clothing is too tight, it can restrict your range of motion, which can make your form suffer while baggy clothing will get caught or snagged on something or you can trip over them leading you to injure yourself.

  • Leave the Perfume and Cologne at Home, Please

Strong scents can be distracting to other fitness-class participants and will even trigger allergic reactions in some individuals. Strong body odor can also be very unpleasant, take the time to either shower and/or use deodorant before breaking a sweat. Also steer clear of greasy lotions and creams because mixed with sweat, the end result is a slippery mess that will compromise your grip, save the makeup for later dear ladies. Keep 4-5 sets of gym clothing throughout the week and wash them regularly.

  • Wipe Down After Yourself

Imagine you’re all set for a chest workout, but the first thing you feel when you lie on the bench is a cold, wet sensation on your back! It’s more than gross to lie in someone else’s sweat, although the risk is low, you could catch a Staph infection. Always use a protective barrier between you and the bench, whether it’s a towel or shirt, and wipe down any surfaces with antiseptic wipes before or after use. It is okay to shower and wash your hands immediately after your workout.

  • Unload and Re-rack your Weights

Failing to unload the bar and re-racking plates and dumbbells after training is equivalent to leaving your gym bag lying on the floor. It isn’t just rude but dangerous. In addition to the tripping danger, the next exerciser will need to search for the weights if they’re not in their proper location on the rack. Unloading and re-racking is part of your workout, the gym is the one place the person who picks after you at home is not working. Extra credits to those who do the club a favor and put them in the right place and order according to their sizes. Be cautious to safely lift them, no sense hurting your back just because of someone else terrible manners. Fitness trainers are experts in exercise prescription, program design, anatomy, physiology and most important, they guide and motivate you through your fitness journey by helping you establish healthy habits.

  • Share The Equipment 

Super-set (working out on two or more different pieces of equipment) prevents others from using them. Seasoned gym enthusiasts are most guilty of this.  You may want to try it if you are short on time too.Consider super-setting by staying on one bench. For example, super-set an upper-body move with an ab exercise on the same spot. Also, consider allowing other people access to the machines between sets. If you see someone hovering around the equipment you have been using for the last 15 minutes, feel free to say, “Mind if I share the machine with you?” some of us are shy.

  • Keep Unsolicited Advice to Yourself

No one likes a know-it-all stranger. You might have great intentions but unless you are a certified fitness professional, and an employee at the facility, offering fitness advice is not in your job description. If you see someone perform an exercise in the wrong form, flag down the nearest trainer on the floor and let them handle it. A qualified trainer will know how to approach in a positive, productive manner and make the gym member feel safe, not picked on or embarrassed. In case you witness any etiquette violation, don’t be afraid to inform the club staff.You are not being a snitch. The rules are for everyone, whether you are the current Mr. Universe or Miss Kenya or the queen of England or one of her loyal subjects.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for advice and be careful when you offer unsolicited advice.

  • You know those large hollow cubes called lockers? that is where you store your gym bag instead of walking around with it. You are not at the airport.

  • Don,t stand at the water dispenser trying to catch your breath.

  • Keep grunting to a minimum.

  • Take sets of dumbells you need, step way back and keep the space in front of the racks clear through traffic.

  • Keep the showers clean, no one wants to become personally acquainted with clumps of your hair, used razor or empty shampoo bottle. Don’t stay hours in the shower when others are waiting in line.

  • Respect others workout time and space- keep the conversations and ‘mshenee’ the gossip for later.

Hike Off The Calories.

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Your heavy backpack means the sweat and heat have nowhere to go and you can feel every bit of the burden as you prepare to lift your foot, your breathing heavy and inadequate and fast. If only the terrain could level off a bit if just, you could stop for a moment to gather your energy before the next step, to sip some water? We have always pondered on some days on the trail.  And yet, for the love of the outdoors, we will gladly put on our hiking boots, grab our water bottles, our snacks in our bags, and board the bus. What can’t be cured, must be endured, outdoor lovers. For the rest of us, let us fir our floating lives, and leave it no longer to be carried hither and thither, like a withered leaf, by every wind that blows.Take the challenge, it might just surprise you to find out you are mentally stronger than you thought. Life rarely allows us to undo the 100 plus hours of inactivity every week. The 3-5 hours at the gym weekly are not enough either. For a healthy community that we so much yearn for, we must walk, bike, explore, move and hike more. We must strive to accumulate more steps.

A hike is a fun way to explore your surroundings as you build networks and strengthen your physical and mental muscles. As a general rule of thumb,  the starting focus of all exercise programs is generally low-intensity training and an all-around aerobic endurance to prepare a foundation for the upcoming practice. Similarly, before you take on any hike, it is essential to get your muscles, joints, and mind ready. The fitter and the better your condition, the more you will enjoy your hike.

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DRESS CODE

Nothing against our sisters or brothers but the annoying habit of heeled shoes and jeans on a trail are entirely unacceptable. Always wear light and comfortable layered, breathable fabrics that can be added or subtracted as the required. It is crucial that the body temperatures are well regulated as the unpredictable weather at higher altitudes will more than often play games with you.

HIKING BOOTS.

Most of us love our sports shoes so much that we can’t leave them behind.  A proper hiking boot is necessary to take on the knocks on rocky and unstable terrains. Wear thick wool socks to increase the cushioning as a blister on a hike is a nightmare you want so much to avoid. The hiking boots also help offer more support around the ankles and usually have a fantastic grip to prevent you from sliding or falling.

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BACKPACK

Often overlooked but can make or break us. Ensure that your bag has a right and comfortable harness around your shoulders as you don’t want anything that will work against the blood circulation especially towards the brain.The lumbar pad, hip belt, and shoulder straps must have quality padding. Adjust the straps well to suit your body shape.

PREPARATIONS.

  • Focus on building overall body strength but focus more on muscles that will be involved in the activity. The lower body(quadriceps, hamstrings, calves), lower back, abdominals, and shoulders. A hike works practically every muscle from the waist down.
  • Before any hike, gradually build up your cardiorespiratory endurance through such activities as a light to brisk walk, jog, run, swim or rowing. Anything to keep your heart rate elevated, your lungs ready for the high demand of Oxygen on the high altitudes and your heart pumping efficiently for proper circulation.
  • In Kenya for instance, start with long walks, easy hikes like the Ngong hills as you work up to steeper climbs like Mt Longonot, Aberdares before attempting a challenge like the mighty Mt. Kenya.

FOOD.

Stay hydrated on the trail frequently taking water at every break, this will encourage circulation of nutrients and Oxygen to the muscles. Pack foods that are nutritious and high energy. Stick to foods that your body is accustomed to avoid stomach upsets. Dry rations such as nuts and fruits are perfect options. A bottle or two of isotonic water will come in handy in case of the cramps that arise from dehydration and depletion of electrolytes( Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium and  Sodium levels in the bloodstream and muscles).

PACE YOURSELF.

A speed that suits the slowest in your group will ensure harmony and encourage appreciation of the scenery. Always walk as a team and let the slowest person set the pace for all, they subconsciously push themselves harder at the front. Do not do too much, too soon, conserve the energy for the last part of your hike. Take frequent breaks to fuel up, rehydrate and gather the mental resources to do the next climb. Don’t rush nature, it will humble you.

Not once, have I heard of peak performers, and champions speak of an end to challenge, excitement, curiosity, and wonder. Quite the contrary. One of the most engaging characteristics they possess is an infectious talent for moving into the future, generating a new challenge, living with a sense of “more work to be done.” Be your own champion and join us at Feel Fitness Kenya this weekend as we take down Mt. Longonot hike on our quest for a series of walks towards the ever elusive Mt. Kilimanjaro towards the end of this year.

Partner Up – Stay Motivated.

“The stock market is like the rest of us. It spent January working on improving itself, then in February said, the hell!”. I am not sure you are familiar with Stephen Colbert, but if you ask me. He is the most entertaining late night talk show host in the US. He hosts a show on CBS called The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. This was a statement he made on the night of Feb 5th, 2018 when the market went into a free drop of 1,175 points on a single day of trade. It is the second month of the year, and you must be still in high gear, just like I am. I do track my progress on my New Year’s resolution because I promised myself I will wear my bareback dress this year and crush a casual wedding. Of course, the hard work, bird-serving portions combined with playing hide and seek with wheat, fatty, and processed foods will finally pay off. I know it will.

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We eventually drop off because our goals weren’t Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and bound within a specific Timeframe.

1st week of February and I schedule a measure and weigh-in ceremony. Lucky, if you are still single because I am not sure my married brothers and sisters get to hold an extravagant weigh in and measuring party like the rest of us. It starts with the early morning alarm clock going off 15 minutes earlier. We need the extra time to carry through all the ceremony rituals. We spent the next fifteen minutes sitting in the loo as we contemplate our life choices. It is also sacrilegious, you know.. To step on the scale with last night’s dinner still seated in our bowels. Finally, praying that all the extra grams will be washed off, we jump in for a quick bath. Aren’t we heavier pre-shower?  The ceremony comes to a climax as we step on the scale. But first, we towel down, then set the scale very far away from the mirror because you haven’t looked myself in the eyes stark naked in front of the mirror in a while and you don’t need that sort of negative energy right now. Mirrors do lie anyway. Don’t they?

Wait a minute!The scale reading looks all wrong! I just moved bowels, cleaned up real good. So, why is the scale reading higher than when I started? Weighing scales lie too, I will obey my trainer and stick to the tape measure. He has always assured me it is almost accurate in determining whether we dropped some inches around the waistline. Nearly half of the people who take up fitness at the beginning of the year fall off a month or so later. Most, drop off because their goals are not specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and are not bound by time, they also lack the patience. Set SMART goals and strive for a gradual progressive approach. This is usually the critical break or makes period when most of us are looking for even the slightest reason to quit. Our motivation is generally at its lowest, as we contemplate about renewing our memberships. “How do  I keep the flame alive towards my bareback dreams later in the year when my body isn’t showing the slightest change coach?” I asked.

“Let a man be in danger of losing his life or let a woman be in danger of losing a great love, and you will witness a startling exhibition of willpower from an expected source.To live to see our kids grow is the most critical of life’s mission for a majority of us. Unless the doctors raise the alarm on our health, most of us find it hard to leave our couches, beds, cars and we stick to our poor eating habits” he replied.

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A happy dog and nature can go a long way in uplifting your low spirits.

Training alone can be such an uphill task, especially for first-timers.  We must all make conscious decisions and choices to keep us honest, and one of the best ways to stick to our exercise goals is to find a training partner? Some call them straining…that is who they are. It could be a family member, teammate, friend, workmate, stranger or even pet. Your little dog could make a fantastic morning or evening run partner. Let us put cupid to work in the gym. Spread the love, healthy community members, it is the love month”.He went on.

“There is no use trying to lift any sort of weight if you do not understand and employ the correct technique. Fitness is to be attained and maintained, be safe…”

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WHY CONSIDER A WORKOUT PARTNER? 

  • MOTIVATION 

It is one thing to cancel plans for yourself, but it is another to cancel on a friend who is counting on you.The sense of responsibility that you have towards your training partner will get you to keep up a 5.30 am workout date. Even when your bed is winning with lovely puppy dog eyes and warm, cozy confines:) yes, the bed has the charm to die for. The 5 seconds decision to jump out of bed can surprisingly be made much faster. Having someone to workout along could be such a morale booster. Give it a try.

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A  workout partner could be a friend, family member, workmate, neighbor, trainer or spouse.

If you train outdoors, we recommend taking your dog or pet with you. It will never complain, it will be an excellent pacesetter and will even introduce you to new routes and friends and will all together improve your mood as you workout. A happy dog and nature could go a long way in uplifting your spirits.

  • RAISE THE INTENSITY

We are naturally competitive beings and the desire to outdo someone else at the same challenge acts as a tremendous drive force to gets us to push a little harder. Whenever I workout with someone else, for instance, I tend to step harder on the pedal, way past my comfort zone in an attempt to outshine or outperform my partner. It is essential to pick a partner whose fitness levels or muscular strength or endurance isn’t so far away from where we are. Someone who can lift three times or more weight than you do is probably way above your ability or level. Get your match to enjoy the benefits of a workout partner. There is no use to try to lift any sort of weight if we do not understand and employ the correct technique.

  • YOU ARE SAFER

Have an experienced eye (partner) watch your movements and your form to ensure you progress safely. You never have to worry about being stuck low on your last rep of a massive squat set. He or she can also help you maximize on those forced repetitions for maximum intensity. If your partner in crime, has only as much experience as you do, the most they are able to point out is the apparent form mistakes. It is still important to exercise under the instructions of a trained fitness professional especially when you start doing a new exercise.

  • BETTER RELATIONSHIPS.
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Working out with your significant other helps build trust and is an excellent way for busy couples to reconnect.

Studies demonstrate that a couples workout can increase levels of happiness and attraction in relationships and help parties reach fitness goals faster. It also provides an excellent way for busy couples to reconnect. They challenge each other while training and later laugh about the struggle.The gym is a very vulnerable space, especially for the ego.Work out together with your significant other to help build trust. It is undoubtedly an excellent way to provide encouragement and support as you work through the weak areas and celebrate each other’s success.

Non- communicable scourge.

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Participation in physical activity and healthy eating reduces chances of lifestyle diseases.

In poorer countries, healthcare costs must be paid by patients out of pocket creating a significant strain on household budgets, particularly for lower-income families. Poverty exposes peoples behavioral risk factors for lifestyle diseases, and in turn, the resulting disease may become an essential driver of the downward spiral that leads families towards poverty. In African nations, for example, the NCDs (non-communicable diseases) are rising rapidly and are projected to exceed communicable, maternal, perinatal, and nutritional diseases as the most common causes of death by 2030. Significant costs to individuals, families, businesses, governments and health systems add up to substantial economic impacts on nations budgets.

NCDs are the leading global cause of death, causing more deaths than all other causes combined. They have reached epidemic proportions, yet they could be significantly reduced, with millions of lives saved and untold suffering avoided, through reduction of their risk factors, early diagnosis, and timely treatments.

Global Status Report On Non-Communicable Diseases By World Health Organization.

We foresee a future with less physical activity levels as they continue to decline by the minute. Man, the highest type of life yet produced; at least upon this planet was made to move, but modern woman/man walks less than any other time in history. Is it due to effects of globalization, rapid unplanned urbanization( lack of bike lanes, school playgrounds)? Do we blame parents for not teaching their kids the importance of being physically active and eating healthy? The rapidly growing burden of NCDs has been made worse by rigid our busy schedules in pursuit of a better life, sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits. Regular physical activity and healthy eating greatly reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease including high blood pressure, diabetes, colon, breast cancer, stroke, obesity, raised cholesterol levels and depression.

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Diet is an area in your life in which you have almost total control. Go easy on sugary, fatty and processed foods. Choose more vegetables, fruits, nuts and wholemeal options. Eat foods and drinks God created for food.

There is the need for urgent action from the government, Fitness Professionals Association of Kenya  (FITPAK), health officials, civil society, academia, N.G.Os and relevant non-health sectors to encourage people to change their lifestyle and dietary habits. In as much as prevention is better than cure, it is not until our attention is drawn to the high chances of risk exposed by the medical test results, that we consider changing the way we go about doing things. Exercise because you value fitness, not because you are told to exercise by your doctor. Is it, not true that in every single family, there is an uncle or auntie, mum or dad, brother or sister, grandparent or child (God forbid) suffering from a lifestyle disease? Is it not the case here in Kenya? Or sadly we have lost a loved one in our families as a result of the same. It doesn’t matter, the low and upper-middle-income social clusters. Ask around…go on.

The catastrophic spending and impoverishment that results from the upsurge of sedentary diseases can only be reduced. If tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diet, and most importantly sedentary lifestyles are discouraged at the community level. Improving country level surveillance and monitoring should be a top priority in the fight against NCDs. Accurate data is vital to help control the scourge. It is indeed sad that for some countries like here in Kenya there is no public access to such data on NCDs from the relevant ministry. Robust and united advocacy is required from all stakeholders for NCDs to be recognized as a critical priority of the global development agenda. Economic analysis suggests that each 10% rise in NCDs is associated with 0.5% lower rates of annual economic growth according to W.H.O.

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Develop environments that encourage physical activity and enhance active transportation such as bike lanes, safe walking paths to schools, work.

Workplace wellness programs should be geared towards improving modifiable health risk factors in employee population, decreased medical costs and reduced absenteeism. Regular wellness and general nutritional check-ups at workplaces can encourage both the employer and employee to engage more in physical activity. Diet is an area in your life in which you have almost total control, use your knowledge of nutrition to create a healthy diet plan. Go easy on sugary and fatty foods, choose more vegetables and fruit options, eat foods in their natural state. Eat foods and drinks God created for food. High salt consumption is an essential determinant of high blood pressure and cardiovascular risk yet most populations still consume much higher levels of salt than recommended by W.H.O.

The NCDs epidemic exacts an enormous toll in terms of human suffering and inflicts serious damage to human development in both social and economic realms. Each year an estimated 100 million people are pushed into poverty because they have to pay directly for health services.

World Health Organization.

In a nutshell, there is the pressing need for intervention, unless action is taken, the burden of NCDs will reach levels that are beyond all stakeholders to manage. Working closely with all the stakeholders and allied health sectors we can all make a change towards a healthy community.  Follow us on our social media channels @ Feel Fitness Kenya on facebook and youtube for more healthy community tips. Together, WE CAN

1.Promote access to healthy food options, early screening, and diagnosis of families, staff, and society at large.

2.Mobilize political and public awareness and support for NCDs prevention and control efforts and play a key role in supporting NCDs programs.

3. keep our kids, teenagers, adults and our seniors active through sport and play and educate them, especially the parents, babysitters, and kids on how to make healthier nutritional choices. Ensure schools are equipped with adequate facilities and space for play. It wouldn’t hurt any child if all curriculums had sports options for example. Play is crucial for their growth and development, social skills, health, mental function, and discipline.

4. As stakeholders, and notably, the fitness professionals should start working with county councils and local park to develop environments that encourage physical activity with areas for a variety of activities. Not everyone has access or can afford to pay for a gym.

5. Give recommendations about community preventive services, programs, and policies to improve health by relevant policymakers and the government at large.

6. Set up interventions designed to enhance opportunities for active transportation like walking to school, riding to work and leisure time physical activity.

 

 

 

Take A Hike💨🌲🌲

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I am almost sure the last time anyone told you to “take a hike” it didn’t end well. Hiking has long been perceived as a significant recreational activity and a powerful cardio workout, and we couldn’t agree more!✊💯. Isn’t it true that the view from the top of a mountain is incredible? It must be even more exciting if it is a peak that can only be reached by climbing. As you think about that elusive peak let us look at some of the benefits of hiking:

>Increases fitness levels: Just one hour of trekking can burn well
over 500 calories, depending on the pace, the degree of incline and
the weight of the pack you’re carrying.

Tones the whole body: Regular walking can get your butt in better shape, by taking sharp inclines, using trekking poles to propel you forward and clambering over rocks gives your whole body a workout. Strengthens the lower body muscles very efficiently.

>Helps prevent and control diabetes: Regular hiking helps you manage or even prevent diabetes by lowering your blood sugar levels. Hiking gives your muscles a workout which helps move glucose from your bloodstream for energy.

>Social interactions: Hikers always recommend using the buddy system. A regular weekend meet up, or a planned long-distance trek can help you forge bonds while you shape up. Interaction with the larger hiking community encourages you to engage with your workout as a lifestyle, rather than a chore.

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Increases happiness levels and curbs depression: Research shows that using hiking as an additional therapy can help people with severe depression feel better.It may even inspire those suffering from it to lead a more active lifestyle.

Feel Fitness.

>Improved cardio-respiratory fitness (heart, lungs,
blood vessels)
>Improved muscular fitness
>Lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.
>Lower risk of colon and breast cancer, and possibly lung and endometrial cancer.
>Increased bone density or a slower loss of mass.

A gym isn’t the only place you can get some quality workout, join the feel fitness healthy community as we embark on several outdoor escapades🌲🌲 become one with nature🙏 and get you feeling fit and fabulous!!💪💯. The energy, happiness and stress relief that can be drawn from a day on the trails in an essential aspect of overall health and well being.Start gradually with natural hills before you take it a notch higher. In Kenya, Ngong hills, Longonot, Suswa and the Aberdares are beautiful options before you attempt more robust and adventurous pursuit like Mt.Kenya and Mt.Kilimanjaro. Have some form of preparation especially on your lower back, shoulders, lower body strength, hip mobility and some cardiorespiratory exercises as well. However small the hill, respect nature, or it will humble you. Do not try.

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Hiking tips

  1. Never hike on an empty stomach, eat healthily but stick to what your body is used to.
  2. Always stay hydrated on the trail and walk in groups for your safety. Have a facilitator or guide and security guard always.
  3. Ensure you are appropriately dressed for the outdoors from hiking boots, bag, attire, hat, etc.
  4. Keep the environment clean-(park it in, park it out principle applies). Leave nature exactly the same way you found it.

For more information check out our🔓
Twitter🐣 Feel Fitness Kenya

Facebook @Feel Fitness Kenya

youtube @ FEEL FITNESS KENYA.

Email us @ feelfitness3@gmail.com

Burned out.

A balanced exercise program should contain a mixture of aerobic exercise, flexibility, muscular strength and endurance training with daily doses of lifestyle activity. Athletes can go ahead and focus on speed, agility, balance, reaction time and concentration to help boost their sports performance. I had a recent conversation with a friend who has been training for several years. He seemed bothered by his lack of concentration, sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, impaired performance and fatigue. Definite symptoms of a burn out right there, my friend. As all who have experience know. There is food for speculation when it comes to how hard or easy we should push our selves, how many times per week and what duration should we train?

The veil is being gradually lifted as we learn a little more every day and it is more evident that every athlete, every individual need their muscles and minds moved in different ways. Training should not be a one size fits all.Some of us, however, get a little too motivated and we end up pushing ourselves too much. We believe that the faster and harder we exercise, the better. Seeing results makes us forget the all-important key to success when it comes to training, gradual progression. Moderation should be our number one goal. Below is a great guideline to help keep things in perspective on your fitness journey as you avoid overtraining.

FREQUENCY(how many times per week)

You may be on the best fitness streak of your life, and you decide to train every day or sometimes twice in a day (it is so wrong that some of us train twice a day to maximize their monthly gym payments). It is essential for beginners to establish a baseline of fitness fast by engaging in thrice weekly hour-long sessions of walking, use of machines, basic yoga, swimming or any form of light to moderate activity before they advance to 5-6 sessions a week. You are advised to take a break between the six days as well. It takes more discipline to recover than to push yourself, allow your body sufficient time to rest.

INTENSITY.

This refers to how hard or how easy we should be working out and should be determined by your current fitness levels(and comfort zone). If someone is able to engage comfortably in a heated debate while jogging on a treadmill, it means they can still push themselves a little more until they are so breathless and gasping for breath when you try to talk to them. To maximize intensity you can try to cross-train,  circuit train  or superset ( perform two different exercises without resting between the sets) for the best results. The harder you exercise, the faster your heart beats. It is worth noting that your mood, energy levels, fitness levels, state of health, commitments or lack of sleep might affect your program. The trick to training intensity is to find out where your fine line lines are and to stay just short of them.

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Length is not a substitute for intensity when it comes to working out.

TIME

How long do your workouts last?It may seem old and timeworn, but a practical exercise session should not be anything more than an hour unless you are in the gym for other business, gossip, maybe? As stated in our previous blog,  in pursuit of feeling fitness it is okay to piece together smaller workout sessions throughout the day to make an hour of exercise, if time is a limitation. When you want to progress you should not increase all the variables (frequency, intensity and time) at the same time. They influence each other, when the intensity goes up, the time comes down and vice versa. Isn’t it easier to push yourself a little harder during short workouts?

NUTRITION

Other burnout symptoms also include persistent muscle soreness, exhaustion instead of energy and being susceptible to colds and flu. Proper nutrition is vital to prepare and repair the body, and hence we should consume enough calories of protein, whole grain carbohydrates, and vegetables. In case your diet fails to meet the body’s requirements the more chances of burnout. Moderate amounts of exercise have been shown to have significant health benefits, especially for adults of over fifty. At Feel Fitness we will always walk with you on your fitness ride teaching you the small tips to help all of us achieve the healthy community goals.

Allowing your body sufficient time to rest, enjoying your workout and a good night’s sleep could all prevent you from burnout.

Feel Fitness.

 

 

 

 

INJURE NOT.

A simple rule of thumb states that whether you want to swim, cycle, dance, lift weights or kick-box, always start with a good warm-up. It might seem like a drag when your time is already limited but, it is unquestionably beneficial in the long run. Remarkably recent research has shown that a warm-up enables you to exercise for longer than when you plunge right into it, the exercise feels easier too. It is an excellent period to think about your workout as you speed up your heart rate.Ten or fewer minutes of (depends on the intensity of the exercise to come) gentle, rhythmic movements mimicking the activity that you are about to do at low energy gets your joints, muscles, tendons and even mind ready for the actions to come.It also helps direct more blood flow(with nutrients and oxygen) to the working muscles. You never start your car on fourth gear, why then should you begin to train before your muscles are warmed up?

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gentle rhythmic movements at low intensity like skipping on the spot, jumping jacks, running on the spot are all great ways to warm up.

feelfitness.

It takes time to adapt to physical activity and doing too much, too soon can also increase the likelihood of an injury. For any improvement to take place, there must be some “stress” placed on the body to which it has to adapt so that next time, with the same challenge the body will cope better.In as much as becoming fitter requires us to move in some way, we must learn to introduce new loads, forces or movements gradually and at low volumes in the beginning. A voice inside is always urging us to slap the heavy plates on the bar everytime we are in a fitness facility (you know that damn sound?). Do not pressure yourself to achieve the impossible if you plan to stay injury free.Treat working out as an opportunity to see how well we can move, lift, flex and coordinate ourselves. It should always be about the body, mind, and spirit remember.

…introduce new loads, forces or movements gradually and at low volumes in the beginning.

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Muscle imbalances are brought about by imbalanced training regimes that emphasize certain parts of the body while neglecting others.Most of us in gyms focus on the more visible muscles (mirror muscles) like the chest, abs, biceps and ignore the rear group of the back, hamstrings, and calves. For once, do more of the exercises that you don’t enjoy, the reason you don’t like them is that you are weak in those areas.Are you? Always strive to achieve a balance between muscle groups as imbalanced muscle groups (regarding strength, flexibility, size, and endurance) substantially contribute to poor posture making us more susceptible to injuries. Training should not be just about tensing our muscles but equally crucial, of relaxing them.

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Get into a position that is comfortable and then relax.Breathe deeply and reach a little further, but stay relaxed.The moment the stretch becomes a strain, ease up.Hold about 20 seconds and release.

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Keenly look at a youngster’s natural free and undistorted movement as they roll, crawl or fall.It might be due to their lower center of gravity but is also mainly because of their impressive flexibility.It is almost the same of our sportspeople, their high levels of agility, a vast range of motion around their joints and most importantly the excellent flexibility of their muscles. Flexibility is such a crucial fitness component that you can only improve by stretching at the end of our workout before our bodies cool off.If short of time, merely concentrate on reaching the muscle groups that you exercised. Swimmers, for example, will benefit more from a shoulder and back stretch while a cyclist or runner needs more of the lower body stretches. Never skip to stretch after a workout, as you already know, prevention is better than cure.

….if short of time, concentrate on stretching the muscle groups that you exercised.

feel fitness.

In as much as we are assaulted on a daily basis, from a considerable variety of sources about the latest, newest, most excellent and the very best way to lose weight, look younger instantly or develop a six pack in 2 days.  A trip to the fitness centre should always be a chance to better ourselves not hurt. You may slam the brakes, pop the clutch, fail to look in the mirror before changing lanes or cruise if you so wish…is all up to you.All that will contribute to the functioning of your vehicle and ultimately the quality of the ride. Meanwhile, be safe as you enjoy your exercise, we need everyone injury free to enable us to achieve a healthy community. INJURE NOT!