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Navratri Special: This festival how to keep in shape

The festivals are here and that means eating lots of goodies – be it fried vrat wala khana or sweets for Diwali. Here’s what you can do to eat all you want and yet stay in shape. Read on

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Here’s what you can do to eat all you want and yet stay in shape.
Source: Conde Nast Traveller

We all want to be fit and stay in shape. Unfortunately, some of us love food more than what we look like. Foods like fried aloo tikki, vrat wali puri, sabudana khichdi and Ramdana ladoo call to you and you can’t help but gorge on these tasty treats.

The need to lose fat and stay trim around the stomach is a dream for many. But not all are able to lose belly fat. Sadly, just as there are many tasty treats, there are just as many exercises that will help you shed the extra calories that you will consume. Let’s take a look at them.

Exercises that have worked to lose body fats

Ride a bike: Do this regularly to lose belly fat when you are in a gym. It may look difficult and challenging to some to begin with, but it greatly helps as an excellent belly workout. If you know how to cycle, go cycling in the morning.

But to avoid the outdoor pollution which most cities have, an exercise cycle in a gym is a good way to trim belly fat. Pedal in a gentle and continuous motion condition the legs as well and are a good cardio-vascular workout. Stair steppers, rowers and treadmills are excellent ways to lose belly fat too.

Sit-ups:

Most people have had great success in losing belly fat while doing normal sit-ups. Starting with three sets of 10 to 15 sit-ups each help many lose belly fat. A rule of thumb — gradually increase the sit-ups and start off with half crunches.

Sit-ups help not only to make the lower abdomen region stronger and healthier, but when followed up with side crunches, exercise helps to lose fat from belly in the sides also.

Ball crunches:

There could be no better exercise to shed fat around the belly than ball crunches. Lay your feet flat on the floor with your back shoulder blades on the ball. Make sure that your thighs and torso are parallel to the ground, contract your abdominal muscles by raising your torso to about 45 degrees slant each time. Hold this position each time for a few seconds before returning back to normal flat position.

Yoga and pilates: Not only does it strengthen the body’s core muscles, it also improves balance, stability and flexibility. Introducing a variety of exercises to lose belly fat could help you keep motivated to achieve your goal of losing belly fat.

Sometimes, women find it tougher to lose belly fat. The best way forward is to begin with toning exercises that are safe. Here are some simple toning exercises for women that you can perform anywhere at any time.

These toning exercises for women are simply to do when you’re standing around at work or when you’re in line at the post office. The more toning exercises you do, the more benefits you will receive in return. So, if you only have a few minutes to spare, try to fit in as many exercises you can.

Wall pushups

Place your hands in front of you and slowly lean into the wall. Push back off with your arms and chest. Repeat.

 Squats

Stand with your feet a little more than shoulder’s width apart. Slowly bend your knees and come to a sitting position. Don’t let your knees extend past your toes as you do so. Your upper body should be as straight as possible. Lower until almost at a 90-degree angle and then lift back up.

Suck it in

It may look easy but try holding your stomach in as tightly as you can for as long as you can. You will work out all of the muscles in your abdomen. Do this whenever you can. You can perform the same tightening motion for your buttocks too to increase their tone.

Calf raises

In a standing position, try to lift your heels from the floor and hold in that position. Slowly lower yourself down. There are many exercises that provide no benefit however much you do them. It is better to trade these with those that work. Here’s what you need to avoid.

Sitting abdominal crunch machine

This machine does nothing. You are not targeting the abdominal muscles effectively with this piece of equipment. Skip this machine and grab a mat. Floor exercises like abdominal crunches, reverse crunches, or toe reaches, going in a slow and controlled manner, will be a better use of your time to get a flatter stomach.

Lat pulldown behind head

Studies have shown that if the exercise is performed pulling the bar behind your head, you could be doing damage to your rotator cuffs. You have to do it absolutely perfectly to avoid that, which hardly anyone does. Pull the bar down in front of you and you will get the same benefit for your back, without potential damage to your shoulders.

Side bends

All it will do is build the muscle and push your body fat out further so that everybody can notice your love handles. The obliques are small muscles and just a little stimulation can really develop them.

To eliminate the extra fat around the obliques, watch your diet and burn off your body fat with aerobic work. Then utilise the abdominal exercises mentioned and they will indirectly work your obliques. This will be a far better approach to getting rid of those love handles than doing side bends.

Inner and outer thigh machine

This is one of the most popular exercises for women who want to tone up inner and outer thighs. In most gyms there is a huge line of women waiting to use this machine. This is because women do hundreds of sets and repetitions to achieve the leaner leg.

This machine does nothing. What people don’t realise is that because of the design of this machine and limited range of motion, you are really only hitting a very small portion of the leg. You should perform lunges and or squats and eliminate this exercise from your workout. You are much better off hitting your inner and outer thighs during those exercises, then spending 15 minutes on this machine. Just because everybody is doing it, doesn’t mean it is right.

Russian twists

This is the exercise where an individual is standing with a broomstick on his/her shoulders and the person twists side to side. As a warm-up, this might be alright, but as an exercise to reduce the love handles. It doesn’t do anything.

Make efficient and good use of your time when you work out and avoid these exercises like the plague. Use the alternatives, it will ultimately get you to your final goal – A fitter you!

Disclaimer: This article is not to provide health advice. Always seek professional help before starting any exercise programme.

 

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Lifestyle

5 Tips to Motivate Students For Ongoing Board Exams

Exams are one of the important milestones in a student’s life. Students need motivation for board exams to pump their confidence and vanish exam fear.

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motivation for board exam
Source: India.com

Lakhs of students are appearing for class X and XII Board exams in India every year. These exams are one of the most important milestones in a student’s academic life. Along with this students needs motivation for board exams to pump their confidence and vanish the exam fear. This is why the stress caused during these exams is best addressed than avoided.

The urge to pass these exams with a good percentage can sometimes impact the mental health of the students. They might end up worrying about the exam when they should be focusing all their efforts on revisions.

Exam stress can reduce their self-confidence levels, leading to poor performance and outcomes. Hence, it is very crucial for teachers to boost the morale of the students.

Here is what a teacher has come up with some key tips to motivate the  students right before exams:

Understand Students’ Interests

It is a good practice for teachers to know the strengths and weaknesses of the students. Teachers can know their students better by conducting unique sessions centred around “get to know you” discussions. These kinds of sessions can be held on a monthly basis. Activities like clubbing students with similar interests into groups, and assigning writing or speaking tasks can help in increasing students’ enthusiasm for the subject.

Important To Give Feedback

One-to-one mentoring can be of great help for students to gear up before the exams. This can be an opportunity for the students to clarify all their individual doubts and understand the concepts better. They could also open up about the challenges in studies during these interactions. By providing personalised feedback, teachers can better understand each student’s capability. However, the onus remains on the teachers to encourage the young learners to speak during personal mentoring sessions.

Encourage Collaboration and Competition

Be in touch with students. Teachers should encourage the idea of collaboration and competition by pairing up students. They should be encouraged to justify their ideas or articulate an answer while working in pairs. This fosters peer correction and effective analysis of their own progression. Teachers can promote teamwork and this will help the students to learn from each other. Such activities will also expose them to a diverse set of ideas.

Schedule Regular Breaks

Exhaustion remains one of the biggest reasons for students’ demotivation right before any exam. The ability to think rationally is impaired on a greater scale when a person is tired and studies for long hours without taking timely breaks. It is advisable to have regular breaks during study sessions to strike the right balance between studies and recreation. Hence, teachers should help students prepare study timetables which have regular intervals in between.

Exercise a Little

Stress can be a major contributor to underperformance during exams. It is a proven fact that regular exercise keeps both the mind and body healthy. Practising simpler exercises like meditation or yoga can make the students’ mind feel more relaxed. This will help them to stay composed and concentrate better.

Keeping students’ motivation for board exam peaked during Board exams is of utmost paramount. It is easy to motivate them if they have achievable goals, take regular breaks, revise concepts in advance and perform exercises.

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Lifestyle

6 indoor plants and their upkeep

While almost all green plants can be kept indoors, some plants need more attention than others. Here best indoor plants for home in India.

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best indoor plants for home in india
Source: @Safer Brand

While almost all green plants can be kept indoors, some plants need more attention than others which can be cumbersome if you have a busy schedule. But that doesn’t mean you can’t surround yourself with greenery. Let’s look at some best indoor plants for a home in India.

Rubber tree plant

It is fairly easy to maintain but is fussy when it comes to the amount of water it needs. Here is what you need to know if you have this plant. Rubber plants are rainforest specimens. While they need consistent moistness, they don’t want it to be soggy. Ensure that the pot the plant is in has adequate draining holes.

Use a dish under the pot lined with pebbles to catch extra water. This will keep the roots from sitting in water but provide the humidity as the water evaporates.

Croton plant

Its beautifully patterned leaves can brighten any space. Now that the rains are here in full force, it is important to ensure that you take care of all your plants. Overwatering can lead to root rot. An important thing to keep in mind is that the pot is well-drained. There is moisture in the air, overwatering will harm the plant. Croton also needs at least six to seven hours of sunshine but excess heat will damage its leaves. Try and keep the plant either East or West facing to make sure that the leaves don’t lose their colour.

English Ivy

It looks pretty and while it may look like it is an easy plant to look after, it is not the case. Like any other plant, this plant too will rot and its leaves will turn brown if you overwater them. Before you water it, check the soil. If it is moist, don’t water it. Make sure that the soil is loose and is kept in a well-drained pot. The plant grows in bright light but it is away from direct sunlight. It is a beautiful plan that can be kept inside the home; potting it in a hanging basket is an excellent way to enjoy the beauty of this plant.

Fern

The delicate curled leaves that unfurl into long, lacy fronds look pretty. Go into the forest and you will find ferns carpeting the floor. They also make a great houseplant. They can grow in any kind of pot — clay to hanging baskets to ceramic and don’t require full sun to thrive.

But Indian weather is different. A plant that may live happily in any other environment needs a lot of care here. They love moisture. During the rainy season make sure you don’t overwater the plant or the roots will rot. You can even spray water on the leaves to lock the moisture in. You can keep this plant in the bathroom or even the kitchen.

Green Aralia

One of the most important things to keep in mind if you have a green aralia is that it has to be kept away from cold drafts and windows during the winter months to ensure that it thrives. It needs a feed once every other month during the spring. During the summer months, the plant needs liquid fertiliser. However, be careful if you buy this plant; it is mildly toxic to humans and pets. Ingestion can lead to gastrointestinal irritation, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

They are best as landscape plants. While watering aralia which is indoors, deep water is only when the soil is nearly dry. One of the most important things to keep in mind if you have a green aralia is that it has to be kept away from cold drafts and windows during the winter months to ensure that it thrives.

Pitcher plant

It is not always possible to ensure that the plant that you bring is going to live. Hence, it is important to take care of it properly. Let’s take the pitcher plant. So how does one take care of it if one wants to keep it indoors even if it is a carnivorous plant?

Depending on the species, some require full sunlight and those that originate in the floor of the rainforest may need filtered light. It requires moist soil, and keeps the potting soil moist, but not soggy. Allow the pot to drain thoroughly after watering and never let the pot stand in water or the roots will rot.

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Lifestyle

Mother’s Day 2022: Significance, history, and importance

Being a mother is a full-time job and gets no appreciation-one day where their worth is truly appreciated. Here’swhy we celebrate mothers day.

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why we celebrate mothers day
Source: @TOI

Most of us know that Mother’s Day is celebrated every second Sunday in May. But did you know why we celebrate mothers day? The whole idea behind Mother’s Day is to honour the mother of the family, to celebrate motherhood, maternal bonds, and the important role that they play in shaping society.

Why we celebrate mothers day?

It is said that the need to celebrate this day arose in the 1900s. Back then a daughter – Anna Jarvis, daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis – to honour the sacrifices made by the mothers made for their children started this holiday.

It is said that Jarvis organized the first Mother’s Day service of worship and celebration at Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, West Virginia, the US which serves as the International Mother’s Day Shrine today.

Did you also know that different countries celebrate this day in different months? Some countries celebrate this day in March. Mother’s Day in Egypt is celebrated on March 21, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. In Georgia Mother’s Day is celebrated on March 3.

In some countries, the date is adopted to signify religion, like Virgin Mary Day in Catholic countries. Other countries selected a date with historical significance. For example, Bolivia’s Mother’s Day is a fixed date, commemorating a battle in which women participated to defend their children. Or in Russia where it is celebrated as International Women’s Day instead of Mother’s Day.

In India, the concept of celebrating Mother’s Day is new. This could be because we have traditionally been respectful of our mothers and have been revering them for generations.

We didn’t need to set a single day aside for them. But then, we (Indians) tend to ape the West and what the West does needs to be done back home.

Irrespective of how and when Mother’s Day is celebrated worldwide, children go out of their way to make this a special day for their mother. Lunches, treats and gifts are part and parcel of this day’s celebration.

What can you do? Here are some mothers day 2022 gift ideas

For the foodie mom

If your mother is a foodie a last-minute gift can be a meal subscription box that speaks to your mom’s interests. The subscription boxes are becoming popular across India as they select the finest and latest products every month and ship them across to their clients.

As a gift, you can opt for ingredients, or complete meals, including gourmet food and global cuisine. Innovative subscription boxes share recipes and exquisitely packaged boxes that can be used as a collector’s item.

If your mother is all about fitness

If your mom has been looking to shed some weight, a gym membership is a great gift! There are several gyms in each city that offer membership. This would help your mother work.

If your mother is all about looking good

A woman’s body goes through many changes, and protein is quintessential to cope with it. One can gift herbal products to the mother for that perfect skin that will keep her young at heart forever!

 

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