Gentle Yoga Stretch
Sometimes after a long day, I like to unwind with a gentle yoga routine. This is also a great way to start the day—it clears your mind and sets a positive tone for the day with a few simple yoga moves.
In my opinion meditation is simply a term for spending some time disconnecting from the chaos of life, and attempting to quiet your mind and be in a calm state of awareness. A recent conversation that I had with a friend made me realize that meditation is often misunderstood. These common misunderstandings get in the way and stop people from giving it a try. He told me, “I’ve tried meditation in the past because my job is so highly stressful with incredibly long hours, but I quit meditating because I thought I was a terrible meditator. I could never totally clear my mind, so I would get frustrated and quit. But now I understand that having thoughts is simply a part of the process.” What he said is exactly how I used to feel about trying to meditate.
As with all things relating to health and fitness, there are many schools of thought and many methods. Today I will share with you my practical tips for calming your mind and reflecting on your day with simple and practical meditation advice.
Simple meditation dos and don’ts
Don’t think that you need a completely silent and secluded place to practice. In the real world, and especially in a home with kids or at the office, finding complete silence is almost an impossible task.
Do try to remove yourself from all major distractions, such as phones, computer screens and incredibly loud spaces. Simply turn your office chair away from the screen. If you’re at home, close your bedroom door.
Don’t convince yourself that you need any special equipment, such as a yoga mat, bells or blankets, because you can meditate anywhere. The less stuff you rely on, the easier it will be to take a quick moment to practice.
Do try to sit or lie down in a comfortable place where you feel relaxed. You can keep your eyes open or close them, just do what feels right for you.
Don’t force yourself to start breathing with a specific style, like belly breathing or nose breathing. It can initially put you off or even make you feel light-headed. You can work on breathing technique once you start to feel comfortable with meditation.
Do focus on your breath. Feel the air coming in and leaving your body. Simply be aware of your breath and how it feels.
Don’t start thinking negative thoughts when your grocery list or to-do list starts to creep into your mind.
Do redirect your focus away from your grocery list and back to your breathing.
Don’t have a long list of affirmations or goals that you think about or chant out loud.
Do have one or two key words that help you to relax or guide you towards positive sense of well-being.
Aim to find 20 minutes of quiet time for yourself once or twice a day. Remember that meditation is considered a practice, just like yoga. So yes, that means it may actually take practice to feel the full calming effects.
Enjoy your escape from a chaotic lifestyle.
Get all your inner and outer nutrition right here:
Written by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA. Samantha is Director of Fitness Education at Herbalife
Here’s how you can manage stress levels for your overall health and your appearance.
Stress can impact the health of your heart, digestion, weight, memory and even your ability to sleep. Stress and lack of sleep can also negatively impact your looks, causing blemishes and breakouts, as well as dehydration, which can lead to fine lines and wrinkles. Stress can also negatively impact your hair, resulting in graying and hair loss. So, in the name of beauty, here’s how you can learn to de-stress.
For some people, relaxing can be quite difficult. However, if you can set aside just a few minutes a day to meditate, it will serve your mind, body and spirit well. By entering into a relaxed and peaceful state, you release chemicals into your body that help to counter the stress hormones you’re creating. Practicing yoga or deep breathing exercises can help you find calm. As you do, you can reduce stress-related symptoms that negatively affect you. Set aside 5 to 10 each day to help you relax.
If you can dedicate even more than 10 minutes, do it. A few extra minutes out of your day will only help you to further alleviate your stress levels.
Exercise can be the ideal stress reducer. It not only improves your circulation, which is great for your skin, but it also releases endorphins that can make you feel both energised and calm at the same time. So, take a brisk walk, join a fitness class or go on a bike ride. It’s the perfect way to reduce stress, clear your mind and achieve that healthy post-exercise glow.
There’s nothing worse than feeling (and looking) frazzled. Rather than becoming completely overwhelmed by what the day has in store for you, try to control it by prioritising. I love to write my daily tasks down in a notebook or you can also download an app for this. For me, just being able to see the different tasks that I need to complete gives me more clarity. I can see what must be done, versus what I hope to get done. And sometimes I realide that I can push some tasks to a different day. This not only reduces my stress, but it also allows me to be more productive. And I love crossing off my completed tasks.
Learning to manage stress can be difficult. But we all need to take advantage of every opportunity we can to keep our stress at a manageable level. Once you’ve gotten better at relaxing, you’ll definitely notice a change in your demeanor and your appearance. Say good-bye to brow furrows and stress lines, and say hello to a revitalized you.
Get all your inner and outer nutrition right here:
Stress eating doesn’t usually take away stress, and if it’s done too often, it can also add pounds. Here are some tips to beat this habit..”
Emotional eating happens to many of us from time to time. Maybe you’ve cheered yourself up with a bowl of ice cream after an unusually tough day, or sneaked a few chips from your best friend’s plate while recapping a disastrous date. But when emotional eating gets out of hand—when eating is the first and most common response to negative thoughts and feelings—it’s time to get a grip.
Stress eating, or emotional eating, is when you eat in order to escape whatever bad feelings you’re experiencing, in the hope that food will make you feel better. Sometimes it’s a conscious decision, but more often it’s just a mindless response to a vague, negative emotion. You may not know what’s bothering you, but you’re pretty sure that food is the one thing that will cure whatever ails you.
There are few tell-tale signs that can help you distinguish emotional hunger/stress eating from true, physical hunger.
Keep a food journal.
Own up to your feelings.
Work on your coping skills.
Find alternatives to eating.
Unlearn your bad habits.
Wait it out.
Be kind to yourself, and give yourself time to work on your stress eating. If you find that these tactics aren’t working for you, ask your health care provider if counseling or group support might be helpful for you.
Get all your nutrition right here
Q: What are your favourite Herbalife products?
Lift Off is definitely the one for me! I’m also very partial to a daily Rebuild Strength shake. The Lift Off gives me a great buzz and it has all the other vitamins etc that I know I need so that’s a win for me. The Rebuild Strength tastes great, it mixes really well with water or milk. I’ve had a few lumpy protein mixes before and they really ruin it so it is nice to know Rebuild Strength doesn’t.
Q: How does this help you as a professional cricketer?
I think a lot of people underestimate the life of a professional cricketer. Now don’t get me wrong; if it rains we might end up sitting around all day but that’s where I will try to get a quick top up session in the gym. Sometimes it seems people think we just stand around and bat and throw, but it’s fair to say it definitely isn’t like that! Especially white ball cricket. It’s actually pretty explosive and fast paced when both batting and fielding. Having Lift off and Rebuild Strength just makes this a little easier. If I have been fielding and know I then have to go out and bat with a short turnaround I would rather have a shake than a heavy stomach of food. I do think good healthy food is important the rest of the time but that’s why we use Herbalife at Sussex.
Q: When do you feel this helps you the most?
As I mentioned if it rains I might pop into the gym. But like most lads I will wait until it has rained quite a bit to make sure we won’t be going out to play again whilst I am getting tired in the gym. This unfortunately makes me being lethargic and not exactly ‘up’ for the gym. This is where Lift Off is my saviour! The pick me up from one Lift Off is more than enough to get me through those gym sessions where I could easily feel lethargic and waste my time in the gym.
Rebuild Strength supports me whilst I try to get stronger to be a more powerful and explosive cricketer. It isn’t always possible to get access to food straight away and there are also times when we might be on a coach journey home from a late night game finish so to be able to rely on Rebuild Strength instead of a fast food takeaway at a service station is brilliant.
Q: Why would you recommend Herbalife to fellow cricketers?
I would have to go outside this question and say why I would recommend it to anyone playing any sport. Knowing that there are Herbalife products to develop my performance, focus and recovery in all parts of my professional cricket means a lot. Having Herbalife supplements available means I can focus on developing myself on the field and in the gym knowing that my wellbeing is taken care of which is so important. Whenever I have any drop in focus or energy, a Lift Off gets me back to a perfect level, and having a Rebuild strength shake for post gym and post training helps me to ensure that my nutrition is sound and accounted for, which is I why I feel that any athlete would benefit from Herbalife.
Get all your nutrition right here
Francisca Rockey was sent product samples for review purposes, all thoughts portrayed are her own.
So, you have cancelled your gym membership due to lack of motivation or you are making spending cuts or would simply prefer to spend the hour you would at the gym, snuggled up on the sofa. Whatever your reason for giving up on your new year’s resolution to get fit, I am here to help you get back on track. With just 13 weeks until British summer, there is still time to smash those fitness goals.
Ever thought about running? You can do it anywhere, anytime and at the cost of nothing. If the price of a gym membership each month is out of your budget, then running is a great alternative. Not only are you in complete control of where you run and how long you run for, but it is a lot easier to slip a 30-minute run into your daily routine than a drive to the nearest gym for 30 minutes on the treadmill.
Invest in a ‘feel good’ running kit. This tip is completely optional, but I find that when I am kitted out in running gear that makes me feel good, then I instantly feel like I am ready to get going.
Make a playlist. Ensure that your playlist only consists of ‘feel good’ music, any songs that remind you of a bad memory, leave it out even if its a tune. Create a bubble of just you and your music and you will probably end up running for miles because you are distracted by those ‘feel good’ tunes.
The backbone of a good workout is nutrition. To maximise results you need to eat light and balanced meals, 2 to 3 hours before you train. I was sent some products from Herbalife and have been trialling them for the past month alongside balanced nutritious meals. I use their Formula 1 Sports Shake* as post workout fuel, I mix 2 scoops (roughly 26g) with 250ml of semi-skimmed milk, give it a little shake and its good to go. Most of the protein powders on the market are either banana or chocolate flavour which I find very sickly but this one comes in vanilla cream flavour, which I love! So now, I enjoy drinking my post workout shake rather than just tolerating the taste for the recovery benefits.
Staying motivated. A great way to stay motivated when running is to run in a group. I know this is not for everyone, I prefer to run alone a lot of the time but if you are a person who struggles to keep themselves motivated, running with a partner or in a group can help to instill motivation.
Listen to your body. Learn the difference between when you are having a bad day physically and when you need a day off to rest. If you miss a day of training, you can make it up another day, no biggie!
Get all your nutrition right here
Eating right involves more than just making the right food choices—it’s also about eating the right foods at the right time. So, here are seven tips to help you to “eat right.”
Eat right when you get up. You don’t need to eat immediately upon awakening, but it’s really important to eat in the morning. Those who eat breakfast regularly are better able to control their weight, while breakfast skippers are likely to over-compensate and eat too much at lunch. If you can’t face much in the morning, try a bowl of oatmeal with a bit of protein powder stirred in, some fresh fruit with a scoop of cottage cheese or yogurt, or a protein shake made with protein powder, milk and fruit.
Eat right before your supermarket shop. If you do your shopping on an empty stomach, you’ll be like a kid in a candy store—everything will look good to you. Grab a protein bar, a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts before you go out the door so you’ll be less tempted. Make a list and do your best to stick to it.
Eat right when it comes to fats. We need small amounts of fat in the diet, but most of us eat too much. And some fats—like the ones naturally present in fish, tree nuts, olives and avocados—are healthier than others. Healthy fats add flavor, so add avocado or nuts to your salad, or a dab of flavorful olive oil to steamed veggies.
Eat right before you work out. You need to fuel up before your exercise, especially if you work out first thing in the morning. If you don’t have much time to eat beforehand, easy-to-digest foods like smoothies, soups or yogurt do the trick. If you have a few hours to digest before you head out, have a regular meal with plenty of healthy carbs—whole grain breads, brown rice, pasta, fruits and veggies—to keep you going strong.
Eat right after you exercise. After a good workout, your body might be low on fuel, so try to eat something within 30-45 minutes after you finish your exercise. Your muscles are looking to fruits, vegetables and whole grains to help replenish their stock of carbohydrates—and a shot of protein to help them recover.
Eat right when you eat out. We eat so many meals out these days that dining out isn’t the special occasion it used to be. Resist the urge to splurge when you’re out. If you’re trying to cut your calories, split an entrée with a friend and order an extra salad. Or skip the starchy sides and double up on veggies. Ask for dressings and sauces on the side so you can control how much you eat.
Eat right at night. A lot of people eat lightly or skip meals during the day, only to eat huge amounts of calories between dinner and bedtime. But when you do most of your eating at night, your brain and muscles don’t get the fuel they need for your daily physical and mental activities. Instead, distribute your calories over fairly evenly over your meals and snacks. If after-dinner snacking is piling on the pounds, try brushing your teeth right after dinner. It’s one of the best ways to signal that you’re done eating for the day.
With scientific and technological advancements in both nutrition and food science and an increasing demand for personalised nutrition, consumers can select from an array of functional foods and make them part of everyday life. Within the EU, the, there is no regulatory definition of “functional food,” but according to The British Nutrition Foundation, “the term ‘functional’ is sometimes used to describe foods and drinks that are enriched with particular nutrients or substances that have the potential to positively influence health over and above their basic nutritional value.”
All foods have some function, but there’s a difference with those deemed to be “functional foods.” According to Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic position paper: “All food is essentially functional at some level as it provides energy and nutrients needed to sustain life. However, there is growing evidence that some food components, not considered nutrients in the traditional sense, may provide positive health benefits.”
Why Meal Replacements Qualify as Functional Foods
Meal replacements come in various forms, like Herbalife Nutrition Formula 1 Shake or Formula 1 Express Meal Bars, and they have some common characteristics, beyond taste, aroma or nutritive value, that make them functional foods:
Meal replacements are a category of functional food that provide a variety of healthy benefits. Traditionally used for weight management, evidence has accrued in recent years suggesting they provide a host of other benefits, including maintenance of lean body mass, lower glycemic index and by serving as a source of daily nutrition to help fill nutrient gaps in the diet.
Here are some more resources for information about functional foods:
Author: Andrew Shao, Ph.D., vice president, Global Government Affairs, Herbalife Nutrition
Twenty first century man was sent product samples for review purposes, all thoughts portrayed are his own.
There is an old adage that bodies aren’t just sculpted in the gym. In fact, most research will point to the fact that a big part of gains (to use a less scientific word) are achieved out of the gym; honed through the adaptation of a well-balanced diet, with the right amount (and type) of proteins. For most people that means spending more time in the kitchen but, if like me you struggle with a hectic diary and a very small kitchen, this can be a daunting task. Instead, it is important to find more convenient ways to complement your diet; shortcuts without the shortcuts.
Herbalife have a long standing reputation in the fitness industry and with good reason. Where other protein manufacturers may come and go, Herbalife have history that stretched back to the early 1980s; an era when fitness greats like Arnold Schwarzenegger were posing on stage and inspiring the next generation of athletes. That’s not to say that protein rich products should just be limited to the bodybuilding community; they are vital in post-exercise recovery within any sport.
Recovery is probably the most immediate concern of anyone who regularly exercises or visits the gym. Essential for rebuilding muscle fibres and stimulating growth, a good protein blend needs to be convenient and taste good. With 25 g of whey and casein proteins, Herbalife 24 Rebuild is a great powder to have in your gym bag. The unique blend of proteins and amino acids help rebuild muscle and speed up recovery, promoting growth and helping your body prepare for that next gym session or game of football. More importantly, it mixes well and it tastes good. There is no compromise here and it’s genuinely refreshing to have the best of both worlds.
If, like me, you sweat buckets when you work out there is also a real importance in staying hydrated when hitting the gym or your favourite sport. Herbalife CR7 drink developed in conjunction with Cristiano Ronaldo himself, contains an excellent blend of electrolytes and carbohydrates to keep your hydration levels in check. It tastes a lot better than just water and, coming in at less than 100 calories per serve, you won’t be putting too much back into your body. It recently won the Energy Drink of the Year Award with Men’s Fitness and, with a lovely acai berry flavouring to top it all off, it’s not hard to see why.
There are a number of other products in the Herbalife range than can definitely help with your fitness goals but I suggest you start with the basics. Ensuring you’re well-nourished before you work-out, the CR7 Drive during your workout and the Rebuild Strength post workout is a good foundation to build from. As with your exercise regime, your nutrition regime should build up steadily and become habit rather than a hard change. When it all tastes this good there really is no excuse not be getting that little bit extra from your diet.
Find out more about the Herbalife H24 Sports Nutrition range here:
In this instance, I used the following products to compliment my workout and diet:
CR7 Drive & Herbalife H24 Rebuild Strength.
Healthy fats can help promote heart health. Here are some tips for working more healthy fats into your diet.
Confused about good fats and bad fats? You’re not alone. Aside from questions about weight loss, the topic of healthy fats seems to come up more than any other. Many people I talk to remember the low fat diet era of 20 years ago—just as they remember the high fat/low carb era that followed right behind. Then suddenly it wasn’t merely about how much, or how little fat we should be eating, but whether or not we were eating the right kinds of fat.
Fats can be divided up into two broad categories: saturated (unhealthy fats) and unsaturated (healthier fats). Of the two, the unsaturated fats are considered better for you, since these fats are derived primarily from plant foods and can help to keep blood cholesterol levels within a normal range. On the other hand, a diet with a lot of saturated fats (found primarily in animal products like butter, cheese, whole milk and meat), can contribute to a rise in cholesterol.
Unsaturated fats can be further broken down into two categories: monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. You’ll find monounsaturated fats in nuts, seeds, olive oils and avocados. They’re considered heart-healthy when eaten in moderate amounts.
Polyunsaturated fats can be further classified as either omega-3 or omega-6 fats. While your body requires both types, you need them in the proper balance to promote health. The problem for most of us is that we eat too many omega-6 fats (fried foods, snack foods and sweet baked goods) and not enough fish, nuts, seeds and leafy greens that provide the omega-3s.
Now, added fats do add calories to your diet. All oils, regardless of their source, have about 120 calories a tablespoon. Just because olive oil is a healthy fat, doesn’t mean you should pour it all over your food.
The foods that contain heart-healthy fats include nuts and seeds, olives and olive oil, seafood and avocados. Here are some ways to work more of these healthy fats into your day.
Almonds, pistachios, walnuts and pecans are considered tree nuts, which have more heart-healthy omega-3 than peanuts (not actually nuts, but beans). Here are some ways to include more nuts and seeds into your diet.
Olive oil is also one of the richest sources of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. If the flavor of extra-virgin olive oil is too strong for you, look for light olive oils that have the same calories as regular olive oil, but are lighter in flavor.
Fish fat naturally contains heart-healthy omega-3.
Avocados are technically a fruit and a good source of monounsaturated fat. Here are a few of my favorite uses for avocado.
And For breakfast and Lunch or Dinner have your healthy nutritious shake get a head start on your new healthy life, I have for fourteen years had two shakes a day I know it’s kept my overall health better because of the products, visit my online shop to order yours, faster than fast food and next to no washing up!