Category Archive: Health and Fitness

post by admin | | 0

Reducing Lethargy/Lack of focus/Energy Caused By Oxidative Stress

If you ever feel that you’re not as healthy as you should be or always feeling very tired, it is most likely due to oxidative stress.

What is oxidative stress?

Oxidative stress is essentially an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to counteract or detoxify their harmful effects through neutralization by antioxidants.

The process of oxidation happens as our bodies metabolize (or process) the oxygen that we breathe and our cells produce energy from it. This process also produces free radicals –molecules that interact with the molecules within our cells resulting in damage (or stress) to nearby cells, mitochondria  and DNA.

Free radicals are normal and necessary to some degree. In addition to causing some damage, they also stimulate repair. It is only when too many free radicals are produced, and they overwhelm the repair processes, that it becomes an issue. That is what we call oxidative stress.

Oxidation happens under a number of circumstances including:

  • when our cells use glucose to make energy
  • when the immune system is fighting off bacteria and creating inflammation
  • when our bodies detoxify pollutants, pesticides, and cigarette smoke

In fact, there are millions of processes taking place in our bodies at any one moment that can result in oxidation.

Oxidation also increases when we are physically and/or emotionally stressed.  I am not very good in handling emotional and physical stress, thus I kick myself to exercise five times a week, reduce meat intake, eat more fruits and vegetables and religiously take my most trusted supplements.

What are free radicals?

A free radicals is an oxygen containing molecule that has one or more unpaired electrons, making it highly reactive with other molecules.

Oxygen by-products are relatively unreactive but some of these can undergo metabolism within the biological system to give rise to these highly reactive oxidants. Not all reactive oxygen species are harmful to the body. Some of them are useful in killing invading pathogens or microbes.

However, free radicals can chemically interact with cell components such as DNA, protein or lipid and steal their electrons in order to become stabilized. This, in turn, destabilizes the cell component molecules which then seek and steal an electron from another molecule, therefore triggering a large chain of free radical reactions.

What are antioxidants?

Every cell that utilizes enzymes and oxygen to perform functions is exposed to oxygen free radical reactions that have the potential to cause serious damage to the cell. Antioxidants are molecules present in cells that prevent these reactions by donating an electron to the free radicals without becoming destabilized themselves. An imbalance between oxidants and antioxidants is the underlying basis of oxidative stress.

Damaged caused by oxidative stress

Oxidative stress leads to many pathophysiological conditions in the body. Some of these include neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, gene mutations and cancers, chronic fatigue syndrome, fragile X syndrome, heart and blood vessel disorders, atherosclerosis, heart failure, heart attack and inflammatory diseases.

Signs of oxidative stress occurring in your body

  1. Fatigue
  2. Memory loss and/or brain fog
  3. Muscle and/or joint pain
  4. Wrinkles and grey hair
  5. Decreased eye sight
  6. Headaches and sensitivity to noise
  7. Susceptibility to infections

 

free_radical_oxidative_stress

 

How to reduce oxidative stress?

You need to boost your antioxidant defense system so that it can become balanced with free radical production. Here are some ways to reduce oxidative stress:

1) Decreasing Exposure to Oxidation

Oxidation increases when we are exposed to stress, toxins, and infections. It is also increased by sugar and chemicals, so the more you can minimize your exposure to these things, the better – so choosing organic foods and avoiding toxins in your environment makes a big difference. Reducing stress helps too and can be done with what I refer to as “daily stress remedies”.

2) Boost my body with IZUMIO hydrogen water.

Many claim that they take the best antioxidant formula supplements and although some are effective, none of them have the ability to act in the multiple ways that molecular hydrogen does inside your cells.

IZUMIO

3) Avoid sugar and processed foods while balancing your blood sugar levels

When the body has to process sugar it also creates oxidation and the more sugar we eat, the more oxidation happens. Processed foods often contain sugar and/or other chemicals that also result in oxidation. Eating large and infrequent meals also creates more oxidative stress, so balancing your blood sugar by eating smaller, frequent meals, also helps.

4) Prevent infections

When the immune system is fighting off an infection, it ends up creating oxidation which is why, when you get sick, it drains your body of energy.  I know I am about to fall sick when I feel lethargic, sleepy and extremely thirsty.  That is when I will pump in antioxidants and hydrogen water into my body, while cutting down on meat, processed food and increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables.

5) Allow time for daily stress remedies

It seems so simple, but it really pays off. That’s why you need to find time to take breaks in the day – to give your body a chance to recover. Be sure to honor the breaks in your schedule (or create them) and take them as a chance to enjoy the outdoors, breathe, and re-center. These are some ideas for daily stress remedies:

  • Exercise – rain or shine, I make time to exercise 5x a week in the form of swimming and jogging.
  • Meditation
  • Talking with a friend
  • Enjoying nature
  • Journaling
  • Watching a funny show
  • Taking a walk.
  • Engaging in whatever activities that give you pleasure.  Retail therapy helps me a lot in de-stressing!

The benefits of exercise

 

 

6) Avoid toxins

Choose organic foods and avoid cigarettes, candles, hair and nail salons, carpet, exhaust fumes and plastic. Check your personal care and cleaning products for toxic ingredients and replace them with non-toxic alternatives. Sulfate and paraben are some of the harsh chemicals in shampoos that you should avoid.

7) Increasing Antioxidants

No matter what you to do avoid them, you are going to be exposed to some toxins and stress, so your next step is to increase the antioxidants you have in your system either by helping your body make more, or by consuming them in food or supplements.  Antioxidants’ role is to block oxidation. They squelch it and make it non-harmful to our body.

One supplement that I am currently consuming and find that it helps to strengthen my immune system and that of my kids is Super Lutein.

SUPER LUTEIN delivers six carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin, crocetin, a-carotene, B-carotene and lycopene), anthocyanin and DHA to the body.

The first seven are all phytochemicals, and the last is an omega-3 fatty acid derived from fish oil. The carotenoids and anthocyanin are antioxidants that actively play a part in neutralizing the free radicals created through oxidizing processes triggered by the ingestion of toxins and other harmful substances. This helps to prevent damage to vital organs, maintain healthy skin and vision, and help protect the body from illness and disease.

Ingredients at a Glance

 

If you want to know more about Izumio hydrogen water and Super Lutein, do drop me an email at shireenyong@gmail.com or Whatsapp me at 019-266 4290 with no obligations to purchase anything.

 

Share
post by admin | | 0

Your Posture And The Effect On Digestion

Do you suffer from any of the following symptoms: bloating, gas, burping, diarrhea, constipation or acid reflux?  If your answer is yes, I am sure you have been trying hard to be very careful with the type of food that you eat, when you eat them and even tried to reduce the portion, only to have the problems revisiting you time and again.

Have you ever taken the time to look at your posture?

Bad posture is the new first-world problem that is causing more mental and physical health complications than most people realize.

The human body was designed to move and  not to sit on a chair or couch for several hours at a time. Look at the cavemen. They moved around to hunt for food.  They were fit, trim and lived over a hundred years of age.

I have always been experimenting on different postures whenever I have a distended abdomen with gas — sitting and walking upright vs sitting and walking with a slouched back.  I find that I feel better when I sit and walk with a straight back, with tummy tucked in. Of course this takes more effort but if we do it continuously, over time, it becomes a habit that we carry ourselves with a straight back.

Over time, bad posture habits lead to fatigue, depression, pain and headaches. There’s the reason why your mother told you to sit and walk straight as poor posture causes a host of ailments. I am sure you never thought of that, except that people with poor posture look sloppy.

poor-posture-exercises-to-improve

Sitting does more than just constrict your heart and lungs, it also constricts your intestines. This can make digestion uncomfortable and cause a host of issues. If you are experiencing digestive distress, you may want to take a closer look at your posture and how much time you are spending sitting each day.

Digestive problems are a very common reason people alter their diet. But specific foods aren’t the only reason why your digestion might be in trouble – and one of the other potential factors is posture.

Exercises-for-good-posture

 

 

Bad posture constricts the blood vessels, starving the organs of oxygen and nutrients, cramping digestion. Posture defects may compound existing health problems such as indigestion and asthma by compressing the lungs and stomach.

Many of us have a sedentary lifestyle. We spend too much time sitting at our desks, in cars or watching TV. We tend to slouch and slump as the lower back muscles tire. Eventually, our hunched positions fossilise as the muscles give in and reluctantly adapt to the demands placed on them.

When it comes to the digestive system, proper posture allows the internal organs in the abdomen to assume their natural position without undue compression, which can interfere with the normal flow and function of the gastrointestinal apparatus.

Standing up straight not only allows the abdominal organs to function better, but it also improves the shape of the body in ways that are immediate and profound. For instance, one of the major complaints of mature women (and men) is a growing “belly pouch,” an abdominal distention that afflicts even thin people as they age and that can’t be resolved by liposuction or sit-ups alone because it is due to the protruding viscera pushing against the abdominal wall.

By straightening up the body you can trim several inches from the waist simply by increasing the distance between your lower ribs and the pelvis, allowing greater volume for the internal organs to spread, and instantaneously reducing an unsightly “beer belly” or a grandmotherly bulge.

I have to remind myself to sit and walk upright all the time to look and feel better.  If you slouch, slump on your chair or have bad posture, make the change today too!

 

 

 

Share

Health Benefits Of Swimming

I started to switch to swimming about 2 months ago when my knees, especially the right knee hurt each time I jogged or worked out on the air-walker in the gym. I have been jogging intensively for the past 15 years and I think that my knees have worn down, lost their sponginess, thus are unable to absorb as much shock and pressure.  At times, I can even hear the ‘pounding’ and ‘clicking’ sounds of my knee bones from the friction when I run or walk.

I have never really liked swimming as I  think it’s troublesome (towels and bath robes add on to my laundry and it does not help it that we stay in a condo and do not own a clothes dryer). I do not like the idea of having my skin and hair soaked in chlorine water and the nasty chemical aftertaste in my mouth after swimming.  The first few minutes my body hits the cold water in the morning, I go into a fits of shiver.   But you know what, I am now hooked on swimming every morning, at predawn!  After sending off my girls to the transporter, I head straight to the pool.  Residents who have seen me swimming at 6:30 a.m. marveled at me and asked me if  I feel cold.  Truth is, on wet and chilly mornings, yes the water is icy cold and sometimes I get a brain freeze the moment I dive into the pool!  I shiver just by looking at the icy cold water on some mornings!  Sometimes I would feel that I can’t hack the icy cold water and would have thoughts of crawling back to my bed with a blanket over my head, especially on a wet and cold morning, which is just perfect for sleep ins. But NO. I have a steely determination and I would jump right into the cold water.

Let me give you a little tip.  To get rid of the shivers in the cold pool water, quickly swim several laps without stopping.  It takes me 4-5 laps to warm my body up, after which, the pool water would feel slightly warm on my body.  That’s when I am fully warmed up and feel comfortable enough to swim over 20 laps.

Swimming Health Benefits

Not only is swimming easy on the body, it’s a great way to get fit.   There’s no ground impact or gravity when you swim, and so you protect the joints from stress and strain. Because there’s no impact with swimming, it can be continued for a lifetime.  My 70-year old MIL swims everyday.

Swimming improves endurance. In one study of sedentary middle-aged men and women who did swim training for 12 weeks, maximal oxygen consumption improved 10% and stroke volume (the amount of blood pumped with each beat which indicates heart strength) improved as much as 18%.

 

It’s sweat-free!  While swimming, your constant movement generates up to 85% of your body heat but because water that’s cooler than your core body temperature is continually moving all around you and cooling you down, you never feel over-heated or get sweaty.

It’s kinder to your heart.  As you swim, the water that surrounds your body exerts pressure which helps your circulatory system return your blood to your heart. ‘The demand on your heart is reduced by up to 17 beats per minute or 13% compared to someone exercising on land.

Helps prevent type 2 diabetes.  Swimming for at least half an hour three to four times a week, combined with eating a balanced low-glycaemic index (GI) diet, has been shown to control blood sugar levels, according to the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA), the English national governing body for swimming.

Reduced blood pressure and cholesterol levels.  Studies have shown that swimming for 30 minutes at least three times a week can significantly lower your blood pressure. One study found that resting heart rate was considerably lowered after just 10 weeks of regular swimming.  Plus, swimming for half an hour or longer helps reduce the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) in your blood while raising the levels of HDL – good cholesterol, says the ASA.

Helps you manage your weight.   Swimming breaststroke for 30 minutes will burn approximately 367Kcal, depending on your weight and speed. That beats walking, which burns only 99Kcal in the same time, cycling, which uses up 240Kcal in half an hour, and even running at 6mph, which burns 300Kcal.

I personally feel that the deep breathing I go through during swimming has helped to boost my mood.  Additionally, I have fewer aches and sprains on my body now.  Like other forms of exercises, swimming stimulates the release of feel-good hormone serotonin.  And the best part about swimming is that I no longer have aches on my knees!

 

 

Share

Cuppatea Teatox For Healthy Weight Loss

Someone sent me these healthy tea for weight loss!  And I am so happy as  I have been wanting to shed off the last 1kg that I gained after the birth of Cass 7 years ago!

 

Cuppatea is the ideal detox teatox for those wishing to detox and shed off those unwanted fat.

Cuppatea is a UK based company that promotes healthy living and natural beauty. Their range of teatox consist of 100% natural ingredients and aids weight loss through balanced diet and regular exercise regime.

All the ingredients in Cuppatea Teatox are 100% natural, contains no chemical or preservatives and are bacteria- free.  All these natural ingredients have health and well-being purposes and are brought together in Cuppatea to maximise its benefit for you.

Cuppatea ‘s teatox come in Morningtime detox and Bedtime Cleanse.

Ingredients:

Morningtime detox:

Mate leaves, Chinese oolong tea, Ginger root, Lotus leaves, Lemongrass, Ginseng root, Dandelion leaf, Gotu kola leaves, Nettle leaves.

Note: The Morningtime detox does not produce a laxative effect but contains a small amount of caffeine.

 

Bedtime Cleanse:

Senna leaves, Burdock root, Liquorice root, Hawthorn leaves, Fenugreek seeds, Peppermint leaves, Chamomile, Psyllium seeds.

Note: The Bedtime Cleanse produces a laxative effect to naturally cleanse and detoxify your body, approximately 8 hours after usage

Here’s a  brief description on how Cuppatea’s teatox tastes like (based on my own opinion) – tastes like a cross between ginseng tea and Chinese tea.  Taste is mild and refreshing. I have been drinking it daily and I did not experience any nasty after-effect like nausea, giddiness, heart palpitation, stomach cramp or diarrhea.

 

 

How can Cuppatea benefit you?

Burns fat and prevents fat storage
Transformation of energy to burn calories
Improves skin health
Improve ssleep quality
Purification detox

Always remember that weight loss should not involve diet or starvation. Beauty and weight loss could be achieved by living a balanced and healthy lifestyle.  Check out Cuppatea’s eating plan to start a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

 

Share

Our Sunday – 26 January 2015

Some new gym equipment arrived at the gym of our condo last week. One of the new equipment is a water rower.   I told the girls about this new cool equipment and they were excited to try it!

After dinner at the Japanese restaurant of our condo last night, I brought the kids to the gym for them to try out the Water Rower…

Water rowers use only water, which swishes around a drum at the front of the machine. This mimics the natural dynamics of a boat moving down a river which makes for a more even rowing experience, like rowing on real water. It simulates the ‘real’ feel of the oar locking onto moving water. How cool is the machine!   I had a hard time getting Cass off the Water Rower and promised her that I would bring her to the gym again this week.

A trip to the gym is never complete with a walk or run on the treadmill.

 

And so the girls managed to melt away all the calories from the rice and udon that they walloped at the Japanese restaurant after a 20-minute workout… while me, err, I skipped exercise yesterday. I was busy gossiping with another resident (my fellow gym gossiper, LOL!) … about this b*tchy control freak in our block who acts like she is the manager of the condo!

 

 

 

 

Share

Runner’s Knee

A few weeks ago, I had a sharp pain on my left knee cap each time I squatted down.   Sometimes there was a cracking sound and the knee felt cold and numb. The pain went on for about 10 days. The funny thing is that when I did my usual run in the morning, I did not feel the pain. The pain only came about each time I squatted down.   I was really upset and worried, fearing that I may be in a similar situation as the mil who has pain in her knees. I thought that my knee cartilage needed help or that I may have developed a mild osteoarthritis of the knee. I googled for an answer and found out that I had Runner’s Knee. So much for my love for running all my life, I have now succumbed to Runner’s Knee!

The hubs advised me to pop his Glucosamine tabs but I was reluctant. I eased the duration and intensity of my run each morning. Instead of running 5 rounds each morning, I brisk-walked 3 rounds and jogged 2 rounds at our condo jogging trek. I also spent some time doing knee exercises before I started running. On some mornings, I just did 4 rounds of brisk-walking and 1 round of running. After approximately 10 days, the pain was gone when I bent my knees! I was so relieved! Now that it is the school holidays, the timing is right for me to use the gym.  I now spend half an hour on the air-walker every morning.   Air-walking does not put so much pressure on the knees as running and jogging. I can also increase the duration of my exercise and sweat more when I work out on the air-walker.

What is Runner’s Knee
As the name suggests, runner’s knee is a common ailment among runners. But it can also strike any athlete who does activities that require a lot of knee bending — like walking, biking, and jumping. It usually causes aching pain around the kneecap.

Runner’s knee isn’t really a condition itself. It’s a loose term for several specific disorders with different causes. Runner’s knee can result from:

Overuse. Repeated bending of the knee can irritate the nerves of the kneecap. Overstretched tendons (tendons are the tissues that connect muscles to bones) may also cause the pain of runner’s knee.

Direct trauma to the knee, like a fall or blow.

Misalignment. If any of the bones are slightly out of their correct position — or misaligned — physical stress won’t be evenly distributed through your body. Certain parts of your body may bear too much weight. This can cause pain and damage to the joints. Sometimes, the kneecap itself is slightly out of position.

Problems with the feet. Runner’s knee can result from flat feet, also called fallen arches or overpronation. This is a condition in which the impact of a step causes the arches of your foot to collapse, stretching the muscles and tendons.
Weak thigh muscles.

Symptoms of runner’s knee are:
Pain behind or around the kneecap, especially where the thighbone and the kneecap meet.

Pain when you bend the knee — when walking, squatting, kneeling, running, or even sitting.

Pain that’s worse when walking downstairs or downhill.

Swelling.

Popping or grinding sensations in the knee.

 

What’s the Treatment for Runner’s Knee?
Regardless of the cause, the good news is that minor to moderate cases of runner’s knee should heal on their own given time. To speed the healing you can:

Rest the knee. As much as possible, try to avoid putting weight on your knee.

Ice your knee to reduce pain and swelling. Do it for 20-30 minutes every 3-4 hours for 2-3 days, or until the pain is gone.

Compress your knee. Use an elastic bandage, straps, or sleeves to give your knee extra support.

Elevate your knee on a pillow when you’re sitting or lying down.

Take anti-inflammatory painkillers. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like Advil, Aleve, or Motrin, will help with pain and swelling. However, these drugs can have side effects, like an increased risk of bleeding and ulcers. They should be used only occasionally, unless your doctor specifically says otherwise.

Practice stretching and strengthening exercises if your doctor recommends them.

Get arch supports for your shoes. These orthotics — which can be custom-made or bought off the shelf — may help with flat feet.

 

 

Share

Going Green And Raw

I have been going green and raw for the past few days.  Firstly, I am not feeling 100% up to the mark, no thanks to the flu bugs  loitering in our home. No matter how hard I try to eat clean, I somewhat succumbed to the virulent bugs.  But the good thing is – the infection is a very mild one and definitely does not warrant medication.    Secondly, I am trying to steer clear of oily and heaty food to up my immune system.  We have an overseas trip coming up in just 2 weeks.   The girls ain’t following exactly what I eat but are sticking to non-oily, non-spicy and non-fried food.

Today’s lunch is salad with eggs (organic) again! 🙂

Besides stuffing myself full with greens, I have also been working out hard at the gym the past few days, sweating it  out really well and I am so happy that I am finally picking up the momentum again since months ago.  I have not hit the gym for almost 2 months as during school-going days, I would be too early for the gym. The gym is only accessible at 7am and I am always done with my run at the condo’s jogging trek by 6:50am.  Besides sweating buckets, I have also been getting a good dose of morning sun the past few days.   The morning sun shines right at me as the position of the air walker that I normally work out on faces the morning sun directly.

This Hakka Lui Cha was my lunch yesterday.  As you can see, the composition of this healthy dish is mainly veggies, chick peas and peanuts  in blended mint broth.  While I gobbled down this bowl of green stuff,  my girls ate soupy noodles with eggs and minced pork.

 

Share

BaNaNa Fitness Special Bootcamp Exercise @ Plaza Damaz, KL

Hear ye hear ye all you fitness buffs and those who intend to melt away your belly fat to have a fabulous bod!

A friend of mine is organizing a BaNaNa Fitness Training (special bootcamp exercise) and has asked my help to spread the word around. My hubs has been attending this bootcamp at our neighborhood for almost a year and it is very intense. If I have the time, I will attend too. I am all for fitness but unfortunately, time is not on my side for now.

Here are the details of the BaNaNa Fitness special bootcamp exercise:

Venue: The Space, C1-3 (above Dynasty Club), Block C, Plaza Damaz, 60 Jln Sri Hartamas 1, Kuala Lumpur

When: every Monday & Wednesday,

Time: either 10am-11.15am or 8.30pm-9.45pm by Rapid Fusion Fitness

Price: RM299/mth (Early Banana Rate at RM799 for 3 mths).

For more information, you may send all enquiries to thespacekl@gmail.com or call 016-217 1060.

The organizer is offering a FREE trial if there are 5 or more people. So gather your friends, colleagues, husbands, wives, siblings or your boss to try out this fitness bootcamp for free! Don’t let this opportunity to jump-start your health and fitness regimen slip away ok 😉

 

 

Share

Learning to Become a Personal Trainer

A career as a personal trainer is a rewarding and fulfilling one. You get to help people achieve their fitness goals and encourage them to lead a happier and healthier life. An added bonus is that you will always have time to hit the gym yourself as your career opportunities are directly related to the amount of time that you spend in the gym.

If you want to become a personal trainer, you will need to be well versed in all aspects of exercise science. It is important that you can help your clients get into better shape without overdoing it or hurting themselves in the process. You also need to make sure that you can give good advice as it relates to any supplements that your clients may want to take.

As a personal trainer, you will be the one who pushes your clients to be the best that they can be. However, you will also be there as a supportive guide who realizes that everyone’s goals are different. While some people will want to become the next great bodybuilder, others just want to be able to walk a mile without getting tired.

Those who want to learn about being a personal trainer can visit university websites or the website of any gym that offers advice as to how you can become a personal trainer. You can learn more here about what is expected of you and how you can start on the path toward your dream career.

Share

Kicking Off Addiction To Carbs

For the first time in my life, I am NOT binging on Chinese New Year snacks this year.  In previous years, I would have already finished off a few containers of cookies and chips even before Chinese New Year arrived.   Actually, it is not hard at all.  Ever since I kicked off my addiction on deep fried food, pastries, ice-creams and other sugary snacks, my taste bud changed as well.  It also helps heaps that the MIL has now turned into a health freak after a few health scares last year.  When everyone in the house eats clean, it is very easy to eat clean too.  Even my foodie hubs is turning into a health and fitness freak now — since last year, when he successfully lost a few kilos.

It is not an overnight alteration. It took me months to alter my taste bud.  Ever since I stopped eating deep fried food, those zits stopped rearing their ugly heads too. That is my greatest motivation – to look into a mirror looking at a glowing face 😀  My complexion is almost flawless now and best of all, I have absolutely NO craving on deep fried food and sugary snacks now.  Of course I still do eat snacks every now and then, but I do not crave for them and do not binge on them anymore. I snack mostly on almonds, cashew nuts, pistachio nuts and roast pumpkin seeds to stave off hunger.

There are containers of deep fried arrowroot chips, cookies and pork jerky sitting invitingly on the table of our CNY corner but you know what? I have almost zilch desire to pull off the celo tape of the caps to feast on those sins!  Monkey see monkey do. My kids have never been so disciplined before. They have not even asked permission to eat those cookies and chips!

 

 

Share