Scientifically Proven Benefits of Meditation

Girls doing yoga

Meditation is becoming more popular because now people understand its benefits. 

Meditation is the best exercise to train your mind so that you can control your mind and try to focus on things you actually want. Meditation is the best way to reduce stress and increase your concentration level. 

Most of the people use this exercise for other good benefits also such as healthy sleep, good mood, increase tolerance level, positive outlook and self-discipline.

1. Reduces Stress

Reduces Stress

The most common reason for which people do meditation is stress reduction.

In a study of sample size of 3500 adults it is concluded that people do meditation because it helps in stress reduction.

Generally, physical and mental stress leads to increased level of stress hormone cortisol in the body. This can cause many harmful effects of stress such as the secretion of inflammation-promoting chemicals namely, cytokines in the body.

These effects can harm your sleep, can cause anxiety and depression, increase blood pressure and contribute to fatigue.

Various researches had proved that meditation can improve stress related conditions, fibromyalgia and a post-traumatic stress disorder. 

 

2. Controls Anxiety

Anxiety

Low stress level means low anxiety level. It helps in reducing symptoms anxiety disorders like phobias, social anxiety, unreasonable thoughts, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive behavior etc.

Meditation also helps in controlling job related anxiety disorder high pressure dynamic work environment.

A study of sample size of 2466 participants, showed that variety of different meditation strategies may reduce anxiety.

 

3. Promotes Emotion Health

Emotional Health

Some kinds of meditation helps in improved self-image and more positive outlook on life.

A couple of studies of mindfulness meditation founded that  depression is decreased in about 4600 adults.

Inflammatory chemicals namely cytokines, which are secreted in the body because of stress, can affect the mood of the person and can lead to depression. Many studies had concluded that meditation reduces the depression by reducing the secretion of inflammatory chemicals in the body.

4. Enhances Self Awareness

Some kinds of meditation help you in understanding yourself in a better way, which will further help you in growing into your best self. 

Self-understanding meditation aims to help you in understanding yourself and how can you relate to those around you.

Other kinds of meditation teach you to recognize thoughts that may be harmful and self-defeating. The main idea behind doing meditation is that as you gain awareness of your thought habits, you can move them towards more constructive patterns.

In a study of about 21 women’s who were suffering from breast cancer, when they take part in a meditation programme namely Tai Chi Programme, it was concluded that their self-esteem improved more than it did in those who attended social support classes.

 

5. Lengthens Attention Span

Lengthens atention span

Meditation helps in lengthens your attention span. It means that if you are focusing on something then you can focus on that thing for a longer period without any stress. In other words, it increases your attention strength or attention strength.

A study was conducted which noticed the effects of an eight-week mindfulness meditation course and concluded that the meditation improved the ability to re-orient maintain their attention for a more longer time.

Similarly, a study showed that human resource workers who regularly practiced meditation stayed focused on a task for a longer period. It is also concluded that the workers who practiced meditation regularly remembered the details of the work they do better than their peers who did not practice meditation. 

 

6. May Reduce Age Related Memory Loss

Improvements in attention and clarity of thought can help to keep your mind young. Kirtan Kriya is a meditation method that combines a mantra to focus on thoughts with repetitive finger movement.

In several studies of age-related memory loss, it is concluded that it improved the ability of the participant’s to perform a memory task. In addition, a review of 12 studies found that in older volunteers, various styles of meditation increased attention power, memory power, and mental speed.

While fighting with normal age-related memory loss, regularly practicing meditation also helps in improve memory in patients with dementia.  

7. May Help Fight Addictions

The mental discipline that can be developed through meditation can also help you break dependencies by increasing your self-control and awareness triggers for addictive behaviors.

Meditation also helps in controlling food cravings. A review of 14 studies of mindfulness meditation concluded that it helped the participants to reduce overeating habits

 

8. Improves Sleep

After some time about half of the population will suffer from insomnia.

A study was conducted based on mindfulness meditation programs by assigning people one of the two groups randomly. People of one group did meditation while other’s didn’t.

Then it is concluded that the people of the group who did meditation regularly had sleep sooner, had a longer sleep than those who did not practice meditation.

Further, it also helps in relaxing your body, releasing tension and placed you in a peaceful state which will further help in a good sleep. 

 

9. Helps Control Pain

Improves Pain

The perception of pain is linked to the state of your mind and can be increased in stressful conditions.

One study used functional MRI techniques to observe brain activity when participants faced painful stimulation. In this, few participants have gone through four days of mindfulness meditation training, while others did not.

In the brain centers which is known to control pain, the meditating patients showed increased activity. They also reported reduced pain sensitivity. 

In this scenario, both meditators and non-meditators experienced some degree of pain but the meditators showed the higher ability to cope up with pain and also reduced the sensation of pain as compared to the non-meditators.

 

10. Can Decrease Blood Pressure

Meditation also helps in improving physical health by reducing strain on your heart.

High blood pressure makes it more difficult for the heart to pump which can lead to poor heart function.

High blood pressure leads to atherosclerosis, which means shrinking of arteries, which will further lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Summary : meditation helps in controlling blood pressure by relaxing the nerves.

 

10 Best Shoulder Exercises

Shoulder Exercise

The list of exercises that you are about to read is dependent on two factors:-

  1. EMG ( Electromyography), it is a test which measures the electrical activity in deltoids and the ability of an exercise to accommodate the load. For Example:- a person can do an overhead barbell press with 190 pounds but you can use only 35 pounds for lateral raises.
  2. And our judgment is based on the years of weight lifting.

For every exercise, we will tell you how to perfectly do that exercise. And if you disagree with our thoughts then you can comment on your suggestions.

1. Barbell Push Press

Barbell Push Press

This exercise allows you to put on the highest weight as compared to other overhead press exercises. It is considered more of a full body movement to establish explosiveness, due to this you can lose some isolation effect if you will do this exercise while seated.

Bend your knees slightly with the barbell on the top of the upper chest and explode upward on the balls of your feet while pressing the bar overhead. It involves your lower body, core, delts, triceps, and upper pecs.

It looks like a bodybuilding exercise but it is more of a strength and movement exercise. In addition, doing movements that a lot of muscle mass boost hormones better than movements that do not.

In your training:- Since this variation uses so many groups of muscles, don’t do it in every workout. When you do this exercise do it in your first workout after warming up well.

2. Standing Military Press

Standing Military Press

It is a highly demanding multijoint overhead press, it is not seated movement but still allows for a bit of momentum as well as increased muscle activation as compared to the seated form.

In this exercise, you have to place the bar just off your upper chest as shown in the image and push straight up your overhead and stop just short of lockout. Slightly bend your knees to absorb subtle changes in your center of gravity and relieve some of the stress on your lower back. We can do this exercise both by barbell and dumbbell. You have to maintain a neutral hip position.

In Your Training:- This is an overhead multijoint press so it can replace any of the other press exercises on the list of these exercises. You should warm up well before doing this exercise. You should use a challenging weight but not that much heavy that will break your form. And if your triceps are not good then you should this exercise by dumbbells because they don’t require much triceps activation.   

3. Dumbbell Incline Row

Dumbbell Incline Row

It is one of the best shoulder exercise. Among the various rowing exercises it is considered as the most effective exercise for shoulder’s.

In Your Training:- If you do both shoulder and back exercise on the same day it would be a smart decision to transition between two body parts. 

4. Seated Overhead Dumbbell Press

Seated Overhead Dumbbell Press

The switching out of the barbell on an averhead presses works independently on each side, making the move more challenging requires more stabilizer muscles input. In addition, the range of motion is little longer when you press the overhead weights together ( We recommend that you do not touch the dumbbells).

Going to seated position from the standing position removes your lower body from the lift. The middle delts are heavily recruited, with far less stress on the anterior delts, when a barbell is in front of your head because your upper arms go straight to your sides duing the movement.

In Your Workout:- Firstly, do it in your shoulder session. If you do this exercise while sitting it will be easier for you to increase weight as compared to standing posture because of increased base support. For safety of your back spine we recommend you the back seat while doing the exercise.

It will be really hard to increase weight while into position than it looks. Beginners try this:- when prepairing to hoist the dumbbells overhead, grab a weight in each hand, sit down, place the dumbbells on your thighs in the direction of your knees, and quickly lift one knee in the direction of your shoulder. Repeat the exercise using the opposite knee.

5. Seated Overhead Barbell Press

Seated barbell shoulder press muscle performance

Sitting not only makes it difficult to be in momentum, but also creates a good base from which to push the weight. A barbell includes a high degree of triceps musculature than dumbbells. If you have sore shoulder’s then you should keep your shoulder in front.

When you lower the barbell to the front, you have to notice how your upper arms no longer move out directly to your sides, an indication that some of the workload is now picked by the previous delts. 

In Your Workout:- Do this in your workout for the first time and use difficult weights. Use heavy weights for heavy sets. 

6. Upright Row

Upright Row​

There’s another multi-joint movement family that also targets the middle delts. Every variation whether on a cable, an EZ bar or barbell, or using a smith machine, has its advantages, but none of them is intrinsically better than others. The comfort of the wrist may be the deciding factor for you. And do not take a close grip use wide grip only. 

Although a closer grip increases a range of motion, a wider grip has been shown to have significantly higher delt activation, minimizing the role of biceps in the movement.

In Your Workout:- Although it is a multijoint movement do not this exercise in your workout first. You must do this exercise after the overhead press. It can also be done at end of your workout as a burnout move.

7. Arnold Press

Arnold Press​

Firstly, you have to start with the dumbbells in front of your shoulders and your palms should face yourself. Then you have to press the dumbbells to your overhead and twist your wrist simultaneously as shown in the image and in a top position your palms should face forward. When lowering weights rotate your wrists in opposite direction.

In Your Workout:- You must do this exercise on the second number on your workout list after the overhead presses. And take a higher rep range than the overhead press.  

8. Machine Rear-Delt Fly

Machine Rear-Delt Fly​

There are three single joint arc movements. We do this exercise before the front heads and middle heads because of the rear body really undertrained as compared to the others. It is important to maintain the size and strength of rear delt compared to the other two for posture and rotator cutoff health.

You can also do bent over version with dumbbells to impact posterior delts, lifters often cheat and sling the weights with poor control. You must go for a neutral grip while doing the rear pec-deck on a machine to maximally activate the muscle.

In Your Workout:-  Perform your multijoint movements first, but if your rear delts are lagging do this first in your order of isolation.

 

9. Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Dumbbell Lateral Raise​​

For the middle delts, this is a great single joint movement, but they harder to master than they seem. Beginners often find it difficult to learn how to lead with their elbows. They also tend to rest at the bottom of the motion, when in fact it is better to stop the downward arc when their arms are about 30 degrees.

In Your Workout:- After multi joint presses, position it with other single-joint movements but be aware of the amount of stimulation your middle delts may already have. Many of the above mentioned movements particularly well target the middle delts.

10. Front Dumbbell Raise

Front Dumbbell Raise​

The straight arm lifting directly in front of you emphasizes your deltoids anterior head. We put this exercise in last because the front delts tend to be inappropriately large among people who overdo chest training compared to back muscles.

In your workout:- Do it during the latter half of your shoulder training after completing your multi-joint movements. Depending on whether your front delts are relatively weaker than the others, position them in front of single-joint movements for the other delt heads.

Best Pre – Workout Foods

Pre Workout Foods

Benefits Of Eating Pre Workout Foods :-

Firstly, you have to understand why would you eat something healthy before working out. Most people do cardio exercises for burning fat and lose body fat in the excess amount. So, if a car has run then it will need fuel. Therefore, you have to compare yourself with a car. That’s why you always need pre-workout food i.e food before working out. If you do not eat something before working-out then your body doesn’t get the required nutrients while working out and due to this you can’t see results in yourself. And, this will further lead to an increase in the chances of illness and injuries.

Pre Workout Food
  1. Gives You More Energy:-                                                                                                    Carbohydrates and glycogen are the main sources of fuel for the body. Carbohydrates and stored glycogen are the main sources of fuel for the body because they have converted into ATP i.e “Adenoise Triphosphate”, faster than protein and fats. That is why you have to eat before the workout and store some glycogen and carbohydrates to perform your best while doing work-out.
  2. Prevents Muscle Catabolism:-                                                                                      When you exercise the glycogen stores in the body starts depleting at some point it will be completely used up. The body utilizes amino acids for energy by breaking down hard-earned muscles. Due to this, our body goes into a catabolic state which can prevent our body from muscle growth and recovery.
  3. Increase Muscle Anabolism:-                                                                        Consuming correct pre-workout foods doesn’t mean only fill up your glycogen level but also consuming a good amount of protein. This will also help in the muscle-protein synthesis and create an anabolic environment in the body.                                                                                      

What And When To Eat In Pre–Workout :-

In every meal you are taking you should consume thr three major things i.e carbohydrates, fats and proteins. You should also take into consideration the proportion of these foods. 

FATS

Pre-workout food is the best way to stay away from too much fat. High in energy fats are slow in digesting due to this you will not be energetic but it will make you fat and chubby.

PROTEIN

Pre-workout food containing proteins has the major benefit i.e prevents from muscle catabolism. To prevent muscle breakdown and aiding muscle growth and recovery you must consume proteins in pre-workout food because it gives amino acids to the body.

STARCHES

There are 2 types of carbohydrates i.e simple high glycaemic index carbohydrates and complex low glycaemic index carbohydrates. But the main question is that which is best for pre-workout food?

Which is the best type of pre-workout food among the two, is dependent on your goal and time period of the pre-workout meal. Simple high glycaemic index carbohydrates are good for 30 minutes to an hour before the workout because they provide the body with the fast acting glucose as a fuel. On the other hand, complex low glycaemic index carbohydrates also play an important role with energy metabolism. If you consume complex low glycaemic index carbohydrates in your pre-workout food then it will give you a slow-releasing source of energy. Due to this, you will be able to work out for a longer period and your blood sugar level will be less likely to dip during a workout.   

 

TIMING

30 Minutes to an hour pre-workout

It is better to consume light meals and foods containing simple carbohydrates and some proteins.

2-3 Hours Pre-workout

You should consume a meal around 400-500 calories which contains a good source of proteins and complex low glycaemic index carbohydrates.

 

Pre–Workout Foods

1. Bananas

Bananas

Bananas are the best source of potassium, natural sugar and simple carbohydrates. The potassium is stored in the body only for a limited amount of time so, you should always try to consume banana before 30 minutes before the workout. To increase blood sugar level and glycogen in the body you must eat bananas in the pre-workout. This will further help in boosting your performance.

2. Chicken Rice & Vegetables

Chicken rice and vegetables

The stereotyped healthy meal i.e chicken, rice and vegetables. This is one of the best pre-workout meal. It contains lean protein and complex carbohydrates due to which it provides amino acids for muscle growth and a slow releasing source of energy which helps in longer workouts. But you have to consume it 2-3 hours before the workout.   

3. Greek Yogurt & Dried Fruit

Greek Yogurt and Dried Fruit

Dry fruits are always high in sugar and calories. When you are dieting then dry fruits are generally avoided but it is the very good source of simple sugar and it is strictly to be consumed in a measured amount according to your body. Eating dried fruits with Greek yogurt provides you a great source of protein and helps in optimizing your workout performance. And lastly, you have to consume it before 1 hour of the workout. 

4. Porridge & Oatmeal

Porridge & oatmeal

Porridge and oatmeal is an ultimate pre-workout breakfast. Porridge and oatmeal are a complex carbohydrate and are the best source of soluble fiber and beta-glucan. If you eat oats before 2 hours of a workout then you will not face hunger while working out and it is a good source of slow releasing energy. It also contains proteins and amino acids.

5. Fruit Smoothies

Fruit Smoothies

Most of the people like smoothies because they are very tasty and very healthy too. Smoothies are really rich in fructose, micro-nutrients, and sugars. Smoothies are stereotyped as drinks but they can replace meals because they are high in calories. Drinking a smoothie prior to the workout will provide you a good source of glucose.

6. Whole Grain Bread , Sweet Potatoes & Brown Rice

Whole grain bread
Sweet potatoes
Brown rice

Wholegrain bread, sweet potatoes, and brown rice are a good source of complex carbohydrates. They should be consumed 2-3 hours before the workout. By combining these three things together you will get a good source of slow releasing energy to fuel you consistently throughout the workout. Carbohydrates are good for those who regularly carry out endurance exercises such as cycling or running. 

7. Apple Wedges & Peanut Butter

Apples peanut butter

Eating sliced apple wedges with peanut butter is a portion of good pre-workout food and you should eat it 30 minutes before the workout.

8. Omelette

Omelette

Omelets made from whole eggs and egg whites are a great source of proteins and amino acids for muscle building. You should eat omelets 2-3 hours before a workout to promote muscle growth and to avoid muscle catabolism. 

9. Home Made Protein Bars

Home made protein bars

Homemade protein bars are very easy to make and perfect for the quick and on the go pre-workout. You can make them according to you whether high carbohydrates or low carbohydrates. 

10. Protein Shakes

Protein shake

If you are on the go in a hurry and you don’t have any of the above choices, then a quick protein shake can solve the problems before training. You can get all the nutrients you need in a matter of minutes by drinking a shake with a good source of fast-releasing protein, such as whey protein.

Best Exercises To Make Your Wrist & Forearms Strong

Wrist Exercise

Why Should You Do Wrist Strengthening Exercises?

The muscles and ligaments in your forearms and hands not only help you move your hands in different directions but also prevent the wrist and forearms bones from being rubbed together. If your forearms and wrists muscles are weak, exercising a medium impact exercise can lead to injuries. As we all spend a lot of time on the computer, typing can strain our wrists too. Wrist strength is strictly required to lift weights to build strength in the upper body and toned arms, chest, and back.

1. Wrist Circles

Wrist Circles

Objective – Extensors, wrist flexors, extensors, supinators, and pronators.

How To Do:-

  • Firstly you should sit or stand with your spine erect, your shoulders should be rolled back and you have to look forward.
  • Stretch your arms forward at a shoulder level and fold your hands to make a punch. 
  • Then keep your elbows straight as shown in the image and move your wrists in round motion clockwise and anti-clockwise.

Sets and Reps:-

3 sets of 10 reps in each direction.

2. Wrist Curl Exercise With Dumbells

Wrist Curl Exercise With Dumbbells

Objective – Extensors, wrist flexors, extensors, supinators, and pronators.

How To Do:-

  • Firstly sit on a chair or a bench and keep your legs and shoulder width apart. Take dumbbells in both of your hands and then place both of your forearms on both of your thighs keeping in mind your palms will face upwards. 
  • And don’t put your wrists on your thighs. 
  • Then you have to curl your wrist upward and downward slowly.

Sets and Reps:-

 3 sets of 10 reps each.

3. Reverse Wrist Circle Exercise With Dumbells

Reverse Wrist Curl Exercise With Dumbbells

Objective – Extensors, wrist flexors, extensors, supinators, and pronators.

How To Do:-

  • You have to sit on a chair or a bench and keep your legs and shoulders width apart.
  • Take a dumbbell in one of your hand lets say right hand and then put your forearm of right hand on the thigh of your right leg, keeping in mind your palm will face downwards.
  • Don’t put your wrist on your thighs. And keep your left arm on your left leg’s knee for support.
  • Then curl your wrist upwards and downwards slowly.
  • And, lastly do the same exercise with your left wrist.

Sets and Reps:-

3 sets of 10 reps each hand.

4. Resistance Band Wrist Flexion Exercise

Resistance Band Wrist Flexion Exercise

Objective – Extensors and wrist flexors

How To Do:-

  •  In this exercise you have to stand and wrap resistance tube band around your right handand step on the other end of the band with your right foot. 
  • Bend your elbow 90 degrees, being parallel to the floor as shown in the image, keeping in mind that your palm will face upward.
  • Then slowly move your hands upward and downwards.
  • Do the same exercise with your left hand.

Sets and Reps:-

2 sets of 10 reps in each hand.

5. Resistance Band Wrist Extensor Exercise

Resistance Band Wrist Extensor Exercise

Objective – Extensors and wrist flexors.

How To Do:-

  • In this exercise you have to stand and wrap resistance tube band around your right handed step on the other end of the band with your right foot.
  • Bend your elbow 90 degrees, being parallel to the floor as shown in the image, keeping in mind that your palm will face downward.
  • Then slowly move your hands upward and downwards.
  • Do the same exercise with your left hand.

Sets and reps:-

2 sets of 10 reps with each hand.

6. Dumbbell Radial Ulnar Deviation

Dumbbell Radial And Ulnar Deviation

Objective – Extensor and flexor carpi ulnaris and extensor and flexor carpi radialis.

How To Do:-

  • Firstly, you have to sit on a chair, then take a dumbbell in your right hand and raise the arm to your shoulder level, i.e parallel to the ground as shown in the image.
  • Put your left hand on your left thigh for the balancing.
  • Then move your wrist upward and downward slowly as shown in the image.
  • Do the same exercise with your left hand also.

Sets and reps:-  

2 sets of 10 reps with each hand.

7. Wrist Grip Exercise

Wrist Grip Strengthening Exercise
  • Objective – Extensors and wrist flexors.

How To Do:-

  • For doing this exercise you will need a hand gripping tool as shown in the image.
  • You have to squeeze the tool and release it again and again.
  • Do the same with both of your hands.

Sets and reps:-

2 sets of 10 reps with each hand.