Category Archives: Fitness

Swiss Ball Hamstring Curl


I started a new workout plan a month and a half ago at Healthy Lifestyle, and from the exercises I have in my plan is the Swiss ball hamstring curl.

To begin, I was scared of the ball because of a previous funny incident that I had when I went to the gym with my sister in Germany, I got a big ball to train with and I got stuck on it! Yup, I did!

So it took me a while to get friendly with the ball again, not to mention that this move needs a lot of focus to keep your balance. It was really hard for me at the beginning, but with time I can do 20 of it 🙂

 

How to do it:

  • Lie on your back with a Swiss ball by your feet.
  • Place your heels on the ball and raise your hips so that your body forms a straight line from shoulders to ankles.
  • Brace your core and roll the ball towards you.
  • Squeeze your hams at the top and lower under control

 

Benefits:

This move specifically isolates your hamstrings to maximize muscle exhaustion at the end of the set and improve strength gains. Because the Swiss ball is an unstable surface, your core will also have to work hard to control the movement.

STRONGER STRIDES

Your hamstrings pull your heels back toward your butt, while your glutes extend your legs back. Training both can lengthen your stride and offer more power to every push-off.

BETTER BALANCE

Many hamstring exercises also challenge your stability. The result is a body that can recover quickly when knocked off-balance.

HEALTHIER KNEES

Your anterior-cruciate ligaments (ACLs) rely on your hamstrings to help them stabilize your knees whenever the knees bend while decelerating. Having a strong set of hamstrings can help your ACLs do their job and lower your risk of injury.

 

Are you familiar with this exercise?  

Guest Post: 8 Tips To Stay Healthy During The Holidays


 

Guest post by: Fares Saad Professional Fitness Coach at Healthy Lifestyle

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The holidays are one of the toughest times of year when it comes to your nutrition plan.
We have holiday parties, temptations at the office and who knows what else to deal with.

That being said, you do NOT have to just accept the fact that you are going to pack on the fat during the holidays. I hear a lot of people talking this way and it blows my mind!
They say – “oh I’ll just burn off the calories I ate at the party last night in today’s workout” (nice try – not going to happen) or “there’s nothing I can do … I’ll just start fresh in 2015″ (not true).

8-Tips-to-stay-Healthy-During-The-Holidays

 

But you can be tougher if you follow these tips

1- Be realistic

Don’t try to lose weight during the holidays, instead try to maintain your current weight.

2- Never go with an empty stomach

Never go to a party or for shopping while you’re hungry. This will only cause you to eat more throughout the night. Try to have a small snack before attending so you aren’t ravenous when you arrive.

3- Don’t skip your workouts

Most people have a little extra time available over the holiday season when they are not at work. Take this opportunity to hit the gym and exercise. This will help to burn off the excess calories and fat consumed over this period.

4- Stock up on healthy snacks

When you go shopping, be sure to pick with you some healthy snacks like fresh or dried fruits, sports bars and raw nuts.

5- Eat until you are satisfied

Don’t eat until you’re stuffed. Savor your favorite holiday treats while eating small portions. Sit down, get comfortable, and enjoy.

6- Drink plenty of water

Many people believe that mild dehydration may feel like hunger and the best way to avoid becoming dehydrated to drink plenty of water. You can also use water to slow down your eating by taking a sip or two between bites. Wine and cocktails can be a lot of fun, but they can also cause a lot of problems for your waistline. Have a glass or two of water before you start drinking alcoholic beverages, and have one in between drinks to slow down your alcohol consumption as well.

7- Act like an accountant

If you overeat at one meal go light on the next. It takes 500 calories per day (or 3,500 calories per week) above your normal/maintenance consumption to gain one pound. It is impossible to gain weight from one piece of cheese cake!

8- Be careful with Desserts

There is no one that will tell you to give up desserts at holidays.  Desserts are a huge part of what make the season so amazing.  But consuming too much of anything is a bad thing. First of all, if you know you’re going to be parked at the dessert table, modify the rest of your menu.  Load up on the lighter foods like your grilled vegetables, and salads.

 

To check the original post go here, and make sure to always check Healthy Lifestyle’s blog where you can find interesting tips about fitness and health!

Boost Your Day With Lemon Water!


Lemon is undoubtedly one of the most widely used citrus fruits in the world.  It contains a very high level of vitamin C. Though, the inner flesh is extremely sour to be eaten, it is often used to add flavor to other ingredients and dishes due to its refreshing smell and tart flavor.

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One of the great ways to use lemon in the morning is squeezing half of a lemon and adding it to a cup of warm water.

A glass of lemon juice contains less than 25 calories. It is a rich source of nutrients like calcium, potassium, vitamin C and pectin fiber. It also has medicinal values and antibacterial properties. It also contains traces of iron and vitamin A.

But how is Lemon water beneficial to your health?

Drinking a cup of warm lemon water in the morning is like doing magic to your body, here’s how:

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– Reinforces your immune system:

Lemon is an excellent and rich source of vitamin C, an essential nutrient that protects the body against immune system deficiencies. Lemon water can help keep you healthy and beat off infection.

– Helps in curing a throat infection:

If you have a sore throat you could make a warm lemon drink to sip every couple of hours. That said, if you are having a lemon water every morning you’re probably unlikely to get one in the first place.

– Mood energizer:

The energy a human receives from food comes from the atoms and molecules in your food. A reaction occurs when the positive charged ions from food enter the digestive tract and interact with the negative charged enzymes. Lemon is one of the few foods that contain more negative charged ions, providing your body with more energy when it enters the digestive tract. The scent of lemon also has mood enhancing and energizing properties. The smell of lemon juice can brighten your mood and help clear your mind. Lemon can also help reduce anxiety and depression.

– Freshens your skin:

Thanks to all the vitamin C within lemons, your skin reaps the benefits of you drinking the fruit as well. Vitamin C assists in the production of collagen, so having more in your diet can prevent wrinkles from forming. Vitamin C is vital for healthy glowing skin while its alkaline nature kills some types of bacteria known to cause acne.

Further, lemon juice can be applied topically to scars and age spots to help reduce their appearance.

Since lemon water purges toxins from your blood, it would also be helping to keep your skin clear of blemishes from the inside out. The vitamin C contained in the lemon rejuvenates the skin from within your body.

– Weight loss:

Lemons are high in pectin fiber, which helps fight hunger cravings.

For a quick weight loss proper hydration of body is required. Drinking good amount of lemon juice can improve metabolism. As metabolism improves, the body starts burning fat after workout. So sip a lemon drink and enjoy the taste. But you should add honey instead of sugar or artificial sweeteners to reap maximum benefits.

– Aids in digestion:

Lemon juice flushes out unwanted materials and toxins from the body. It encourages the liver to produce bile which is an acid that is required for digestion. Lemons are also high in minerals and vitamins and help loosen toxins in the digestive tract. The digestive qualities of lemon juice help to relieve symptoms of indigestion, such as heartburn, belching and bloating.

Not only will this killer combination relive indigestion, it will also help flush you out.

– Reduces bad breath:

The high antioxidant and antibiotic compounds in lemon water may also help reduce body odor over time.

Besides fresher breath, lemons have  been known to help relieve tooth pain and gingivitis. Be aware that citric acid can erode tooth enamel, so you should be mindful of this. No not brush your teeth just after drinking your lemon water. It is best to brush your teeth first, then drink your lemon water, or wait a significant amount of time after to brush your teeth. Additionally, you can rinse your mouth with purified water after you finish your lemon water.

lemon_magic

There really are a lot of good reasons to start your day with the freshly squeezed juice of a lemon in a glass of water. After drinking, wait 30 minutes before you eat your breakfast so the lemon water can work its way through your system. This gives the lemon water a chance to flush out your system of debris and toxins and prep if for your meals!

Try it for a couple of weeks and see how it goes, I would love to hear your experiences.

ELECTROFIT WITH TRAINSTATION – ROUND 2


I was invited last week to the second round of #Electrofit full body workout session with Trainstation, that was also held at White Beirut.

If you haven’t seen my oldest post, you can check it out here.

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The full body workout session was presented by Hiba, Nahy,Thomas and Georges on the beats of 3lias (Dj. Stamina). All proceeds of the event went to Meeda (NGO that supports and raises awareness around eating disorders).

The event was crowded as last time, the one hour and a half of workout was so intense but people were enjoying and pushing themselves further.

It’s a great initiative by Trainstation, and I hope there will be more of these sessions to raise more awareness about healthy lifestyle 🙂

Stay Fit everyone!

Lebanon Water Festival 2014


Almost two weeks ago, I attended the Press Conference announcing the Lebanon Water Festival 2014 in the presence of his excellency the Minister of Tourism.

water festival

This is the third season of the Lebanese Water Festival, and it’s gonna be an eight-week series of activities and seaside shows highlighting the country’s wealth of water sports.

“The water festival has become one of Lebanon’s recognized festivals after just a few years of success,” said Tourism Minister Michel Pharaon. We hope [the] 2014 festival will also bring together our main cities along the shore and enlighten our summer.”

Lebanon Water Festival offers a unified platform for promoting the county’s various recreational water activities by offering discounted group classes for sports like surfing and kite boarding throughout August and September. Weekly competitions, mostly among amateur athletes, also dot the schedule and have brought in crowds of spectators to an array of sports that organizers believe have until now gone on under the radar.

This summer’s lessons include water skiing, stand up paddle, kite boarding, apnea (or free-diving), training and underwater photography. Over the next eight weeks, the festival will also hold some semi-professional-level events, such as water ski shows, free-diving in the north, sailing regattas and an underwater photography competition, which has in the past attracted professionals from abroad.

Festivities will wrap up with four different encompassing water shows, two in Tyre and two in Dbayeh.

 

The first event of the festival will be in Jounieh. It will be an International Jet ski race at Hayali Bay in Jounieh on August 10th. The event starts at 3 p.m. and will be a  great way to spend a Sunday on the sea.

Will you be joining the festival?

HPE Clothing launch with Trainstation


 

I was invited a while ago to the HPE Clothing launching event by Trainstation, that was held at ABC Achrafieh.

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Trainstation, the uniquely designed wellness and fitness studio launched for the first time in Lebanon HPE Clothing (human performance engineering ®), one of the UK’s most exciting new high performance, sport fashion brand for men and women. A thrilling launch event, attended by Nick Harris, founder of HPE.

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and included a series of energetic demonstrations by the Trainstation team. 

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Featured in Vogue and described by British GQ as ‘Super-human sportswear’, HPE‘s  innovative and luxury range of athletic apparel combines stylish designs, detailed tailoring and total comfort with advanced yarn technology engineered to increase performance and withstand the demands of intensive training.

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I didn’t try the brand yet, but you could feel that the texture is so light, and available in different colorful styles.

Train well healthy people!

5 Exercises for a Solid Strength-Building Regime


 

If you want good health, a long life and to feel your best well into old age, the No. 1 most important thing you can do is strength-training, says Dr. Brett Osborn, author of  “Get Serious, A Neurosurgeon’s Guide to Optimal Health and Fitness” www.drbrettosborn.com

“Our ability to fight off disease resides in our muscles,” Dr. Osborn says. “The greatest thing you can do for your body is to build muscle.”

He cites a large, long-term study of nearly 9,000 men ages 20 to 80. After nearly 19 years, the men still living were those with the most muscular strength. (BMJ, formerly British Medical Journal, 2008).

Muscle is all protein – “nothing but good for you” Dr. Osborn says.

Fat, however, is an endocrine organ, meaning it releases hormones and other chemicals. When a person has excess fat, he or she also has a disrupted flow of excess biochemicals, which can increase insulin resistance and boost risk factors for stroke and high blood pressure, among other problems.

“Increased cytokines, an immune system chemical, for example, are associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease,” Dr. Osborn says. “You’re only as old as your arteries!”

Strength-training has health benefits for everyone, he adds, no matter their size.

“Some fat is visceral fat – it’s stored around the organs and it’s even more dangerous than the fat you can see,” he says. “People who look thin may actually be carrying around a lot of visceral fat.”

So, what’s the workout Dr. Osborn recommends?

“Back to basics,” he says. “These five exercises are the pillars of a solid training regime.”

•  The squat is a full-body exercise; it’s the basic movement around which all training should be centered. Heavy squats generate a robust hormonal response as numerous muscular structures are traumatized during the movement (even your biceps). Standing erect with a heavy load on your back and then repeatedly squatting down will stress your body inordinately – in a good way — forcing it to grow more muscle.

 

•  The overhead press primarily activates the shoulders, arm extenders and chest. Lower body musculature is also activated as it counters the downward force of the dumbbell supported by the trainee. From the planted feet into the hands, force is transmitted through the skeletal system, stabilized by numerous muscular structures, most importantly the lower back.

 

•  The deadlift centers on the hamstrings, buttocks, lumbar extensors and quadriceps, essentially the large muscles of your backside and the front of your thighs. As power is transferred from the lower body into the bar through the upper body conduit, upper back muscles are also stressed, contrasting with the squat, which is supported by the hands. Deadlifts are considered by some to be the most complete training exercise.

 

•  The bench press mostly targets the chest, shoulders and triceps; it’s the most popular among weightlifters, and it’s very simple – trainees push the barbell off the lower chest until the arms are straight. This motion stresses not only the entire upper body, but also the lower body, which serves a stabilizing function. This provides a big hormonal response and plenty of bang for your buck.

 

•  The pull-up / chin-up stress upper body musculature into the body. A pull-up is done when hands gripping over the bar; a chin-up is where hands are gripping under the bar. Nine out of 10 people cannot do this exercise because most simply haven’t put in the effort. It’s also been called a “man’s exercise, which is nonsense,” he says. There are no gender-specific exercises. Women, too, should aspire to enjoy the health benefits entailed with this pillar.

 

“There are no secrets to a strong and healthier body; hard work is required for the body that will remain vital and strong at any age,” Osborn says. “Always practice proper form and safety. Otherwise, the result will be the opposite of your goal, an injury.”

About Dr. Brett Osborn

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Brett Osborn is a New York University-trained, board-certified neurological surgeon with a secondary certification in anti-aging and regenerative medicine, Diplomate; American Bard of Neurological Surgery, Diplomate; American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. He holds a CSCS honorarium from the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Dr. Osborn specializes in scientifically based nutrition and exercise as a means to achieve optimal health and preventing disease. He is the author of “Get Serious, A Neurosurgeon’s Guide to Optimal Health and Fitness” www.drbrettosborn.com.

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