Wellness Experience with Cindy Jourdain & Tamara Zweck

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The ‘Science Behind Exercise’ isn’t just another ‘fitness training’ workshop.

Cindy Jourdain, a leading certified celebrity trainer has teamed up with Tamara Zweck, the Indian Premier League (IPL) Medical Director to create an interactive classroom to teach people about the right ‘moves’ to make while working out.

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They used ‘Jigsaw’ the skeleton to demonstrate the effect of exercise on muscles and bones. Their most recent workshop focused on two movements- the squat and the deadlift. The pair explained the right techniques and common mistakes people make when doing these movements. To wrap it all up, the workshop participants put the theory to test during a 10-minute workout.

Cindy and Tamara are committed to helping people learn the right way to exercise whether it’s simply stretching or something more demanding. If this workshop is any evidence, they’re well on their way to helping people work out the right way.

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Mirror Mirror On The Wall…

Every year, on the 8th of March, the world makes time to acknowledge and celebrate what women aspire to, struggle toward and amazingly achieve every single day of their lives. The 2017 theme for International Women’s Day is #BEBOLDFORCHANGE. This theme resonates with women from all walks of life. It is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.

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Women face countless challenges every single day but the one I would like to focus on today is a universal challenge that cuts across ethnicities, communities and age groups: Body image – the immense pressure on women to only look a certain, so called, “acceptable way.” Body image is how we see ourselves in a mirror or picture ourselves in our mind.

Body image is a major factor in self-esteem and towards feeling confident and bold! It is not just the way you look but is also the way you think and feel about yourself as a person. The effects of body image on self-esteem can be especially powerful during the teenage years, setting unrealistic and impractical standards.

There are certainly some very direct messages associated with body weight in the media. Celebrities, fashion models and show hosts are often seen as role models, especially by teenagers. These concerns about appearance have existed since time immemorial as have measures to titivate ourselves. However, what has changed today is how media and social media produce unattainable, filtered imagery especially focused at women that drives home the message of inadequacy and the need for improvement.

Eating disorders are often, though not always and not directly, related to negative body image. We feel the pressure to change ourselves, to diet away our natural curves, exercise compulsively and use cosmetic enhancements to feel acceptable.

In the 21st century, beauty surpasses the demand to be intelligent, witty, charming, accomplished or athletic. And it is a rigidly conforming beautiful – Barbie doll perfect, straight hair, perfect skin, hourglass figure, chiclet teeth, there is no room for diversity here.

While young women are striving to attain perfection, older women are desperate to reverse the clock at any cost! This has led to unprecedented increase in appearance misperception disorders including eating disorders, depression, loss of self-esteem and social avoidance behaviours etc.

According to the Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report, a staggering 89 per cent of Australian women are opting to cancel plans, job interviews or other important engagements simply because of how they look.

Despite the alarming statistics, there is a push by women to break the concept of beauty norms. More than 70 percent of women want the media to portray a more diverse range of physical appearance, age, race, shape and size in advertising and marketing.

Therefore, ‘need of the hour’ is to empower each other – increasing body-confidence education, driving meaningful conversations around the pressures women and girls face, and advocate for change in media depictions.

Let us stop judging ourselves and others on the merits of conforming beauty ideals and to start building a sisterhood of positive body image and self-esteem. Let us remind ourselves, every woman is uniquely beautiful (genetically) and let’s celebrate that uniqueness together on this special day.

Indeed, the time has come to be bold and be the change we want to see in the world!

Tips for cultivating a positive body image

1.      The next time we meet a friend, let’s not start with a compliment on how thin or pretty they look.

2.      We should watch what we say in front of our young children. Saying things like “Am I looking fat in this? Do my hips look huge?” etc. reinforce stereotypes and poor body image.

3.      Let us not treat food like it’s our enemy and go on fad diets or excessive indulgence.

4.      Food is a necessity and a pleasure & must be treated with respect and moderation.

5.      Let us not view models or actresses as icons or instruments of objectification, but instead respect and discuss their talent as women making a mark in their field.

6.      Let us discuss and perpetuate role models in fields not related to glamour or media. It is a slow process but a rewarding one!

7.      Think of your body as the vehicle to your dreams. Honour it. Respect it. Fuel it!


About the Author

Dr. Aparna Santhanam (MD, DNB) is a well-known dermatologist, cosmetologist, and hair and wellness expert working in the field of beauty, health and wellness for more than fifteen years. She is a practicing dermatologist, strategic consultant, wellness expert, a writer, and noted speaker apart from being actively involved in social development and women’s issues. She can be reached at dr.aparnasanthanam@gmail.com

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Staying Fit Just Got 10 Steps Easier

Tips to stay fitLong work hours, too tired, feeling stressed, busy at work? Yes, these are our daily excuses for not being active and not following a healthy diet during our busy work schedules. However, being active does not require finding time to get to the gym or following a stringent diet. Here are 10 ways to get fit whilst having fun:

 1. Be an active TV watcher. When you watch television, try to incorporate some physical activity. Put a treadmill in front of the TV and walk whilst watching. You could also add in some stretching, abdominal exercises or push-ups during commercials. Doing a little activity during the commercial breaks can add up to almost 20 minutes of activity for every hour of TV you watch.

2. Try an active commute. One of the best ways to fit activity into your life is by incorporating it into your school or work transportation routine. If you live close enough, consider cycling to work. If you take the bus or taxi, walk to a bus stop that’s an extra block or two away, or get off the bus a stop sooner than usual and get a few more steps in. Alternatively, if you drive to work, park as far away as you can from the building—even a few blocks away, if possible.

3. Mix socialising with exercising. Do you normally spend time with your family or friends by going to dinner, watching sports on TV or going to the movies? Make your social time more active by planning events that are fun and get all of you moving. Go for a family hike on a Saturday morning, play a game of football with your buddies, or just go to a park and run around with your children. There are so many options for squeezing more activity into your social calendar.

4. Turn chores into workouts. When you go grocery shopping, take an entire lap around the store before you begin purchasing grocery items.  When you go to a shopping mall, ensure you see every floor.  You could even climb up the steps to each and every floor at the mall. Also, increase the intensity with which you do your regular household chores, such as cleaning, mowing and shopping. Mow your neighbour’s yard in addition to yours, or park at the end of the lot when you go shopping.

5. Make a work meeting a form of exercise. If you have a lot of meetings at work, tryhaving standing meetings which will give you a break from sitting at your desk for too long. You could even go one step further and initiate walking meetings, by taking a walk with your colleagues within the office or around the office building or compound. When on your mobile phone, walk around, rather than sit at your desk.

6. Have breakfast every day. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, when you wake up it gives your body that well needed energy and sets your metabolism up for the rest of the day. People who skip breakfast are also more likely to gain weight.

7. Schedule regular snacks. Try to have one mid-morning and one mid-afternoon. Have healthy things available for grab-and-go snacks, like fruit, granola bars, dried fruit, or trail mix.

8. Utilize your lunch hour. Look for a gym nearby where you can get a quick workout in.  Alternatively, you can go on a long walk around the building compound with a colleague or even a quick run during your lunch hour. You will go back to the office feeling more energetic in the afternoon.

9. Take 5 minute breaks. When work stress starts knocking, take a five-minute break and go for a stroll. This will not only help to clear your head, but it is also a good way to both increase your metabolism and stay active.

10. Offer your services. Volunteering for a community-service project, such working with an NGO  or a  or cleaning up a park or other green space, on weekends is a great way to add some activity to your day while improving your community at the same time.

 This article is contributed by Shane Bilsborough, COO & Co-Founder, Stepathlon Lifestyle Pvt ltd.