Pilates or Yoga mat? Which one should you buy?

Whether you are new to Yoga or Pilates or have been practicing for years there is an exercise mat for you. This post will give you an overview of the differences between Yoga & Pilates mats and help you find the right mat for you. Yoga mats can still be used in Pilates and vice versa. It’s more hygienic to get your own mat.Yoga or Pilates mat

Yoga Mat

Yoga mats are the thinnest usually around 4mm – 6mm thickness and around 180 long and 60cm wide. Usually made of PVC. If you prefer you can find mats made of biodegradable fibres like hemp or cotton.

Benefits:

  • Lots of grip to help your hands and feet stay static and slip free
  • Good for balance as not too thick and you can feel the floor beneath you
  • PVC Mats you can wash in the washing machine
  • More compact when rolled up than a Pilates Mat

Cons

  • Less cushioned than a Pilates mats

Pilates Mat

Thicker than a Yoga Mat. Pilates mats are usually 8-10mm thick and made of foam.

Benefits: –

  • More cushioned than Yoga mats so good if you have any knee injuries (when in kneeling positions) or back injuries (when doing any exercises or final relaxation) lying on your back
  • Sliding surface to allow you to move smoothly in exercises.

Cons: –

  • Bigger
  • More slippery than yoga mat (if using for Yoga poses)
  • More cushioned so more difficult to balance. This can be easily fixed by stepping off your mat for balancing postures.

Where to buy?

  • Ebay
  • Amazon
  • TK Maxx

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Why Chewing Your Food Properly Is Important For Your Overall Health and Wellbeing

Did you know that you should chew your food a minimum 15 times before swallowing. In some cases upwards of 30-40 times! When it comes to chewing your food a good rule of thumb is to chew till food has turned to liquid and well-mixed with saliva; a piece of hard vegetable will take longer to be chewed properly compared to a piece of soft fruit.

There are 4 key benefits to chewing food properly that increases overall health and wellbeing. Let’s go through them:

  • ENABLES THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF FOOD EATEN

Research has shown that chewing food slowly and thoroughly can help a person feel full faster. In a recent study, women who ate fast consumed more calories, and felt less full than those who ate slower and chewed their food correctly. Similarly, in a study by Iowa State University, researchers found that subjects that chewed their food more reported lowered appetite.

When your food is turned to liquid before entering the stomach, your body is able to digest your food faster and more efficiently, allowing faster nutrient absorption and a wonderful sense of fullness because your body is satisfied.

  • THROAT CARE

When we eat, food is chewed to an appropriate particle size, mixed with saliva and rolled into a smooth shape by the tongue, before we swallow. This ball of food is formally called the bolus. If food isn’t chewed to a proper particle size, or still has sharp and hard edges (imagine chewing potato chips fast!), the bolus may harm the throat when swallowing, or the bolus might come apart.

As chewing, swallowing and breathing in humans are intricately linked, eating fast may lead to choking or the food harming the throat grazing it on it’s way down. This is when infection can occur within the throat.

  • TO PROMOTE OPTIMUM DIGESTION

Digestion starts in the mouth, as saliva contains enzymes to break down starch and fats. By chewing your food properly, you allow the digestive process to start even before your food reaches the stomach. After swallowing, food particles reach the stomach to be broken down and digested by the acidic gastric juices. Chemistry tells us that the larger the surface area to volume ratio a particle is, the quicker it is eroded and in this case, digested. Conversely, large particles make be difficult to break down, which slows down your digestion, and can slow down your metabolism over time.

A study was conducted on how the particle size of chewed almonds affected the bioavailability of the nutrients in it. Not surprisingly, the more an almond was chewed, the smaller the particles, the more nutrients were extracted from it.

By not chewing enough, larger particles pass through the digestive system undigested causing problems such as bloating, gas, gastric cramps and diarrhoea

  • MINDFULNESS

Mindful eating relates to savoring one’s food through appreciating the way it looks, the aroma, texture and taste. By chewing slowly in appreciating these aspects of your food, you cultivate a mindfulness of what is being eaten, rather than eating mindlessly, which often lead to overeating, especially when done in front of a TV.

Mindful eating is not only about slowing down so that you consume less; mindful eating can potentially decrease stress level and ensure better digesting. Science[1] shows that when the body is under stress, digestion is impacted as the body may regard it as secondary to preparing for fight or flight reflexes. Mindful eating focuses attention on the meal, relaxing the mind and thereby ensuring the body digests food properly.

 

Out of all the health benefits in eating slowly and chewing our food properly, the most important of all is the ability to connect with our loved ones while we eat. It allows space for having a mindfulness about our interactions, not just with our food, but with our friends and family too.

Try to make each meal a potential social event if possible; catch up with your family over breakfast or teach your kids the importance of slowing down to eat and how it makes them feel, have lunch outside the office with your colleagues, reconnect with old friends through dinner.

Start to eat slowly and see how it impacts those around you.

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Get Slim Without The Gym! Learn 5 Fat Burning Techniques To Lose Weight Comfortably In Your Home!

Finding the time to work out can be hard enough with busy schedules, dating, married life, kids…..but no matter the situation, time and comfort is of the essence.

So taking a 15-minute drive back and forth from the gym, while also assessing awkward shower rooms and encountering ogling strangers during your workout, can be a complete turn off. So why workout at the gym at all?

Simple things like sleep duration, drink intake, and meditation are all small but super beneficial tasks that can have you sweating off the pounds in no time. It leads to a healthier body and a healthier mind. You can get your rocking bikini body by just living in the comfort of your own home and keeping tabs of your daily habits.

Plus, you can still work every muscle and stretch every joint with ease and determination, while also tracking how you live your life positively.

I’m going to introduce you to 6 workout must-haves when making the transition to your homemade weight-loss haven. Learn how to effortlessly achieve your beautiful and sleek beach body.

  1. WATER. WATER. WATER!!

I know you might hear it all the time, but it’s your life line! Hydration keeps your body moving all the toxins and unwanted materials from floating around in your stomach, throat, and intestines. It expels it regularly and boosts your metabolism the more you drink it.

And the best part about water is that it’s easily accessible. So, if you’re only drinking two glasses a day, bump it up to four and then six and then eight! And before you know it, your body will be faster, stronger and you’ll have more energy!

  1. DON’T STAY UP PAST YOUR BEDTIME!

We all love to stay up and watch a movie marathon or read that book that we can’t put down, but we have to wake up early most days. This is definitely not good for losing weight or even maintaining it! By doing this often, you are just stressing out your muscles and your brain, as it gives it less time to shift through the materials in your body for proper metabolic function. The side effects of not having proper sleep can result in fatigue, crankiness, aching pains, and a slower metabolism!

Simply setting a bedtime that allows you 8 or more hours of beauty rest can increase your metabolic processing rate and rejuvenate your body overnight. There is nothing but pros on this one, so, set that alarm and wake up feeling fresh as a bird.

  1. STRETCH THE STRESS AWAY

A quick stretch can be a lot more useful and rejuvenating to the body than one might expect. Not only does stretching help prevent further injury during strenuous workouts or everyday activities, but it also awakens the body. It is the alarm to the nervous system that it needs to keep up the good work throughout the day, and generally restarts your system at maximum speed.

After a good stretch of the main muscles—in the torso, neck, abdomen, hamstrings, and biceps—you can feel your body charge up in energy as a quick spurt of endorphins flood through your blood stream.

So no matter if it’s just touching your toes or an entire stretch workout, you should get your stretch on multiple times a day.

  1. DON’T DRINK AWAY YOUR CALORIES

Beverages are one of the sneakiest culprits that mess up diet strategies and weight-loss plans. One can of a carbonated soda beverage can be up to 200 calories on average—that’s 10% of the calories you should be eating a day! So round that to two meals of soda and a grape juice breakfast and 25% of your daily caloric intake is gone! And to add insult to injury, most soda beverages incite cravings for other sweets and salty snacks because they have more than your daily intake of suga. You’re already trying to eat less of those, so why tempt yourself further?

Try and substitute with water when you feel like a soda. Water is tasty, non-caloric, and everywhere! So you can drink as much as you want without any food guilt later. Flavor it up with fresh cut fruits or a squeeze of lemon.

  1. VIDEO WORKOUTS AT HOME

Nowadays, everything can be accessed on the internet; and, many people, including personal trainers and fitness buffs, make a living teaching easy and effective fitness courses online. You can get some great free workouts without even entering the gym and you get a strenuous workout in the middle of your own home.

This also gives you flexibility. Want to lose weight dancing? Well, you can with a quick type on the YouTube search bar. You can even be more precise and specifically search for ballet workouts or salsa dancing workouts. You are in control of your workout destiny, so take the power into your hands! Hating the gym is now not a viable excuse!

Concluding Thoughts:

Now that you’ve got these tips on your side, you can start a path to a healthier and slimming daily routine without even going to the gym. Slow and steady, the fat will burn off your body with ease. And at the same time, your mind will be expanding with positive endorphins and chemicals. So, start your healthier lifestyle without the gym today! You’ll start feeling good as you get into the groove of your new routine, and your body will be thanking you for it by presenting you with stunning results.

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Rosemary Fries

Ingredients

1kg/2lbs of potatoes

3 tablespoon coconut oil

4 large sprigs of rosemary

pinch of cayenne pepper

 

Method

  • Heat oven to 200C/180C or 350/400F or fan/gas 6.
  • In a shallow roasting pan, add 1 tablespoon of the oil and place in the oven to heat up while you prepare the potatoes

  • Cut potatoes into chunky chips/sticks

  • Pour the rest of the oil into a large bowl and add the potatoes
  • Sprinkle the cayenne pepper on top and mix together until coated well
  • Remove the tray from the oven and scatter over the chips. Use a spatula to coat the chips in the hot oil, then lay them out in a single layer
  • Top with the sprigs of rosemary and roast for 30 mins
  • Remove from the oven and use the spatula to turn them over, then return to the oven for 15 mins until golden and crispy

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Egg Soldiers

A much healthier way to enjoy your eggs

Ingredients

1 soft-boiled egg

5 spears of steamed asparagus OR steamed green beans

Method

Cut the soft-boiled egg in half and serve with the steamed asparagus or green beans for dipping.

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Crunchy Peach Pots

For breakfast or an anytime snack

Ingredients

1 peach peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks

150g/5oz pot Greek Yoghurt

2 tablespoon puffed/popped quinoa

1 tsp honey

1 tablespoon mixed nuts (optional)

Method

In a short glass layer the popped quinoa, peach and yoghurt and top with nuts.

Drizzle the honey and devour!

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