Friday, 31 August 2018

If you and your family love to eat at restaurants, you may think that this lifestyle is not good for a healthy diet. In many cases, you would be correct. However, you can still enjoy restaurants occasionally and maintain your healthy diet. Its all about making good food choices, which starts with learning about the nutrition you need to stay happy, physically healthy, mentally stable, and active.

When you pick up the menu, start by skipping over the drink section. Although you may be tempted to enjoy a beer or mixed beverage with your dinner, these usually have many empty calories, which is not good for your body. The exception to this rule when it comes to alcohol is wine, especially red wine, which can be fine if you have a single glass and can actually help prevent heart disease for some patients.

Also skip over the appetizer menu, unless it’s to over a side salad. The appetizers at restaurants are usually high-fat foods that are not meant to fill you up and can in fact make you crave even more high fat foods. Examples of these are mozzarella sticks, potato skins, and wings. Instead, simply focus on your main course or, if you must indulge, share a single serving with the entire table of people.

When choosing your main dish, it is of course important that you look at the ingredients of the dish. Anything with cream sauces or high-fat meats should be avoided, and pass up the potatoes or onion rings. Instead over side dishes like vegetables or ask for jus the main course when possible.

Remember too that portion is everything. Order off of the lunch menu whenever you can, and ask for a doggie bag right away. Split your meal in half from the start so that you are not tempted to eat the entire thing, which is usually enough for two or three portions.

At the end of your meal, stick over the desert menu, just like you did with the appetizers. Again, you can share a single desert with the entire table if you feel compelled to order something, or split your portion in half. Many fancy desserts are restaurants have more calories than your entire meal, so keep this in mind before you flag down the waitress to put in an order! Of course, on special occasions, it’s alright to cheat a little, but overall healthy eating requires lots of resisting temptation around you.

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Tuesday, 28 August 2018


Planning your exercise routine is sometimes the hardest part about the whole process. Most of us work full-time or at least part-time jobs and many have families, spouses and a ton of other issues to deal with every day. It’s important that you create a routine schedule that you can absolutely stick to no matter what. Not sticking to your plan is the primary thing that’s going to inhibit your ability to get healthier and effectively lose weight. While you’re planning your exercise routine, keep in mind this goal: 60 minutes of exercise every day. That’s our goal. Your absolute minimum should be 45 minutes of work out a day, 3-4 days a week. You don’t have to do it all at once but I wouldn’t split it up in anything less than 15-minute intervals; 10-minutes if you’re just ridiculously busy.

I, like many people, have tried and failed thousands of different work-out schedules. It’s not easy to maintain, especially since life is so unpredictable. What I have found is that planning your exercise for the morning hours is usually the best course of action. Working out after you come home from your day job might seem like a good idea but it never fails; there’s always something important that comes up and you have to put it off for “tomorrow.” Tomorrow almost never comes, as far as your exercise regimen is concerned. Aside from being overall easier to maintain, a work-out schedule in the morning has a few other health benefits as well. Working out a little in the morning really gets your blood pumping and can prepare you for the rest of the day. Doing light, aerobic exercise is also most effective when it’s done on an empty stomach; this maximizes the fat you use for energy and minimizes the amount of carbs you burn.

If you decide that an even schedule is just going to be a lot easier for you then don’t fret; evening work-outs have specific benefits too. For one, working out makes you tired. If you’ve been having any trouble falling to sleep, a good anaerobic exercise can tucker you out and prepare you for bed. Hard exercise also releases endorphins from your brain; these are chemicals that make you feel good. After a hard day at work, exercise can help reduce your stress levels and make you feel a lot better.

If you haven’t noticed, there’s a pattern here. Aerobic, light exercise is best done in the mornings before you’ve started your day and anaerobic, hard exercise is best done in the evening, when you’ve already gone through your day. Ideally you could mix both of these types of exercise together for the best possible health and weight reduction; if you can schedule your light exercise for the early morning and fit in some weight lifting or swimming laps at night, you’ll be way ahead of the game!

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Friday, 17 August 2018

In today's society carrying excess weight is becoming the norm rather than the exception. Lifestyles are increasingly sedentary, people’s diet is becoming increasingly processed and fatty and food contains more and more calories, additives and preservatives.

Children prefer television over playing with their friends, which is perhaps a direct reflection on parents who prefer television over socializing or even making time for their children. This only scratches the surface of the social move towards a sedentary and unhealthy society which is making more and more people fat.


Yoga also has strong spiritual benefits which will see you becoming more content with yourself and more comfortable with who you are, all aspects which will lead to emotional stability. This mental component is often neglected in a physical approach to weight loss, but it is critical and should not be overlooked.

So called "Comfort food" is a frequent problem for people who yo-yo diet (rapidly lose and gain weight) and the ability to be happy with your health and who you are reduces the need for this.

Yoga is based on deep and controlled breathing which is a method for enhancing our oxygen intake. This allows oxygen to travel to the fat cells in our body and assist in their processing. One has to ask given the benefits why more people don't practice Yoga.

Many people think of Yoga as a passive or mystical discipline -something for hippies - not them. This is a shame as Yoga improves the physical body as well as our mental health. While it is practiced by a great many people in Eastern Populations only about 2% of the population in the United States has clicked on to the many benefits.

Yoga considers all the aspects that contribute to obesity - not just the physical but also the mental and spiritual reasons behind them.


A more active form of Yoga, Kundalini, was introduced to America in 1969 by Yogi Bhajan. It is a more active form of Yoga combining different methods of breathing, meditation and movement to compensate for the fact the American population has been conditioned to see exercise as requiring sweating.

Yoga can also be used to resist the temptation of snacking between meals. Techniques learned from yoga can be used to suppress impulses such as that we think of as hunger between meals (if you eat proper meals you cannot be hungry between them - merely bored or restless).


This has an interesting consequence with weight. It we are overweight then yes, regular Yoga will cause us to lose weight. However if we are at our ideal weight we will not drop weight, and if we weight too little we will gain weight until we are at our biologically natural size.


Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Yoga is an ancient art that has been refined and modified by many great teachers across the ages.

It now comes in so many different styles and techniques and different people may find different versions of Yoga more suitable for them. This is because Yoga is a very personal exercise routine with strong emphasis on looking within oneself in order to achieve personal balance and wellbeing.

Regardless of which individual version of Yoga you practice there are a number of things that apply to Yoga universally rather than to individual branches of the discipline. If you want to get the most from your Yoga session you will learn to understand these things and develop them into your Yoga routine.

You will find that much of your time performing Yoga is spent in a sitting or lying position, however the beginning of a Yoga session is usually a standard standing pose. The standing pose is the most natural position for a human to find themselves in, yet we spend remarkably little time practicing standing correctly. If you begin your Yoga session with a standing pose you are free from the stress of having to take on an unaccustomed position and this allows you to focus on other fundamentals of the Yoga Discipline.

For instance you can concentrate on regulating your breathing and feeling the full healing benefits of each breath. The standing pose is so natural to us that we don't need to pay it any conscious thought and can focus on our breath entering the body and flowing through us.

The standing pose is also beneficial to bringing the body into alignment and centering ourselves both physically and spiritually. Leonardo Da Vinci produced a famous diagram showing the perfect symmetry of the human body when it is in its natural standing pose and this position has always been the most natural for us to find our center and balance.

The bulk of a Yoga session is spent in placing our body in positions or poses that stretch and activate the body. These poses are entered into gently and gradually so there is no risk of injury.

Many poses have a number of different levels so we can get more and more benefits from them as our body becomes more used to them. This is perhaps best demonstrated by a simple forward stretch.

When a gym teacher tells a pupil to touch their toes the pupil is performing the same exercise whether they can reach forward and touch the floor or whether the stretch only goes as far as their knees. The only difference is the level of incline.

The forward stretch is also a perfect example of how the natural movements of Yoga are used outside of a Yoga class or session - in this case in stretching and warming up before sports or other physical activities.

Most children whose coaches take them through a stretching routine before a game of football have no idea that many of the poses are borrowed directly from a Yoga session.

The key to enjoying and benefiting from this main phase of the Yoga session is to pace it to your level. As with the child who can only forward stretch to knee level you do not need to perform the exercise at the highest level from the first time you experience it. Find your comfort zone and then move a fraction beyond it. Then each new session try and maintain that level and push a little further if possible.

The end of a Yoga session is also an important stage. This stage usually consists of a group of restoration and restorative poses and positions that are designed to allow the energy to flow back through your body.

A good Yoga session releases pent up energy in your body and allowing this energy to flow freely to all parts of the body is a critical part of gaining the maximum benefits from Yoga.

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Friday, 10 August 2018


Yoga is different things to different people, so what it means to you will depend greatly on how you were introduced to it and how you enjoyed your initial experiences with it.

For some people Yoga is simply a method of exercising that ensures they have a healthy supple body. For other people Yoga transcends a method of exercise and is a spiritual experience that allows them to find the balance and centering their lives need. This type of Yoga comes closer to a life philosophy than any other.

Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga is often placed in this final type when assessing its place as a Yoga discipline. It descends from a document known as Korunta Yoga which deals with the 8 spiritual movements which are described by Patanjali in Sutra Yoga.

Today most Yoga disciplines are directly descended from the descriptions of Yoga exercises in these documents, and so most forms of Yoga are variations of Ashtanga Vinyasi.

Getting a complete understanding of Ashtanga Yoga is important as its proponents treat it as more that a form of exercise. While it's base is in physical movement it is suggested that its power in fact comes from the strength of spirit that is developed from regular and disciplined practice of the 8 stages of Yoga.

Through the eight stages of Yoga the body and mind become pure, and so they are seen as a purifying discipline.

Furthermore the discipline of Ashtanga Vinyasa deals with a profound and deep way of relating to others. The closest word to describe this aspect of the Yoga discipline is manners, but it really does go beyond that.

Yoga is a discipline of balance, and the physical balance required to complete many of the exercises should be mirrored by an internal balance or harmony of the soul. It is said that a hyperactive person cannot be successful with Yoga and this is true on several levels.

Firstly they lack the discipline to sit calmly through the exercises, but they also lack the mental calm to focus wholly and completely on a single task. Yoga requires deep concentrating on the simple act of breathing and feeling the breath bring life to different areas of your body.

The power of Yoga is found in its combination of the physical strength and flexibility needed to complete movements and the mental discipline that is required to maintain them. Yoga is not just a form of exercise but most often it is thought of as a form of meditation.

Meditating successfully with Yoga requires a pureness of thought and singularity of focus that is not found in most modern exercise programs. It seeks to bring the body back into balance and focus on maintaining that balance.

This aspect of Yoga is often misunderstood, but balance plays a huge role in Eastern Medicine and the purpose of Yoga and similar meditative techniques is often no more than to achieve and maintain the level of balance that keeps our bodies healthy.

Yoga teachers will often talk about one-ness and inner harmony, and this can be misinterpreted by people who lack a holistic understanding of what Yoga seeks to achieve. Simple the harmony that is achieved through Meditation and Yoga is a self-contentment or acceptance of oneself. This shows that the first step to becoming completely happy and healthy is to be content with yourself and your life.

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Tuesday, 7 August 2018


Yoga has been described as a science which seeks to achieve the harmonious and balanced development of the body, mind and soul. It is a system which allows us to bring culture, balance and happiness to ourselves.

It works via a need for strong mental discipline and the ancient theories, which it is based on regarding the interconnection between the mind and body, are now being regularly supported by modern scientific theory. Yoga consists of a number of different exercises or poses.

Examples of these poses are the cat and cow poses. Both are connected and begin with you on all fours on the floor. Arching the back upwards like a cornered cat places you in the cat pose and the reverse, lowering the back puts you into the cow pose.

Another common form of exercise is a forward bend that will help in the stretching of the lower back and hamstring muscles. There are a number of other advantages to forward bends: They release tension in the back neck and shoulder as well as increasing the flexibility of the spine.

Forward bends can be uncomfortable if you have any injuries in the next or back area, but regularly performing will help assists in the recovery of these injuries and even strengthen the area for the future.

The counterpart of a forward bend is a back bend. These open up the chest, hips and rib cage area. As well as strengthening the arms, they also provide increased strength and flexibility to the shoulders.

This type of exercise is fantastic at increasing the stability of the spine, but is also useful for relieving built up tension along the front of the body and the hips. The relationship between back and forward bends is a perfect example of the importance of the bodies balance in Yoga.

Hatha Yoga poses were developed in India during the fifteenth century. They are designed as an aid to relaxation and healing and usually introduced with a concept of "the contemplation of one reality".

The result of using these exercises properly and in conjunction with suitable breathing exercises and meditation is an increase in vitality, physical health and a stronger mental health.

Hatha Yoga exercises have become a part of numerous different Yoga disciplines over the years and it's quite common to see exercises such as the half-moon posture, the bow posture of the salutation posture even if it is not Hatha Yoga you are practicing. This is because the principles of Yoga and the movements and balances required are fairly consistent from one discipline to another.

Another simple Yoga exercise is doing the twist. Twists will strengthen and stretch your back or abdominal muscles and help to increase the flexibility of your spine. They also aid in increasing your bodies circulation that brings oxygen supplies to your cells. This fresh blood and oxygen supply that is released as you twist will improve the functioning of your body’s internal organs.

A yoga session will often begin with a standing pose. These are a very good low impact, low stress starting point for a Yoga session. Standing poses benefit the legs and hips and help provide a sense of centering, balance and of course strength to the legs themselves.

The end of a Yoga session is usually marked by a group of poses known as Relation and Restorative Poses. This group of exercises is designed to give the positive energies and forces released by the Yoga session to move throughout your body and benefit you completely.

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Friday, 3 August 2018

Is Yoga the perfect form of exercise and relaxation? Let's make a list of what our ideal type of exercise would do.

Firstly it would be simple enough that anyone could do it, but have enough variations and different methods that it would maintain the interest of someone who had been practicing it for years.

It would need to be easy to learn so that people could pick up the basics quickly and stat seeing the benefits as soon as possible. To be a perfect form of exercise it would need to be capable of keep our body in good shape all by itself.

It would help with weight loss, circulation and increasing the strength of the muscles. It would stimulate the lymphatic system as well as the blood flow and help the body dispose of waste products, improving the overall immune response system.

It would also have benefits that went beyond health - the sharpening of the mind and an increased sense of wellbeing and contentment. Ideally it would be an exercise form that required no expensive equipment and that could be practiced practically anywhere, alone or in a group.

This is quite a demanding set of prerequisites for a perfect form of exercise. Let's see if Yoga measures up to these standards.

Yoga is a discipline that has its roots in India. The documents that modern Yoga is based on are hundreds of years old, and the principles behind these documents were practiced long before that. It is a low impact form of exercise that has been tweaked and customized by literally thousands of different teachers and enthusiasts.

They are numerous resulting 'styles' of Yoga, but they all have the same core background and beliefs. What we refer to as Yoga in the West is usually the physical component of an entire life philosophy that has its own beliefs and code of ethics built in.

The physical focus of Yoga is on poses and slow movements that are low impact and usually use nothing more than our own body. Sometimes props and supports are used to assist the body in achieving and holding a particular pose.

The poses can vary greatly in their degree of difficulty and even the same pose can have many different stages or levels. The perfect example is a simple forward stretch. One person may be able to stretch out past their knees, another may be able to reach their ankles and somebody else may be able to touch the floor.

This level of progression allows us to see a physical difference in our flexibility level as we practice Yoga more regularly. And because Yoga does not require any special equipment we are not refined to set class times and can practice Yoga anywhere and anytime the fancy takes us.

We can even do breathing exercises to clear the mind while sitting at a work desk.

Yoga has some incredible health benefits which stem from controlled breathing and increased blood flow. Our bodies organs simply do not operate at peak efficiency unless they are receiving the oxygen and nutrients that they need.

The waste products from our muscles and organs are carried away by the lymphatic system. Both systems can develop chokepoints and blockages that different Yoga poses will address and correct.

The result is a better more regular blood pressure, a more efficient immunity system and an optimal digestive process.

Because Yoga movements are slow and simple, the focus on correct breathing has a pronounced mental effect on the body. It provides us with an enhanced ability to focus, and to un-clutter our thoughts. This is a valuable edge in modern life and its importance should not be under estimated.

Finally many regular Yoga enthusiasts will tell you that there is a spiritual side to Yoga, how far this affects an individual will probably depend on their beliefs before they begin practicing Yoga, but it can perhaps be thought of most accurately with a greater comfort and connection with your own body. The increased acceptance of yourself, and comfort with your own being results directly in more happy people.

So, it looks like Yoga does indeed check all the boxes and can be thought of as a perfect exercise form.

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