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    You Won’t Believe These 6 Health Benefits Of Homemade Chocolate Cake

    When are peanut butter cookies and chocolate cake healthy? When you’re making them. Bust out a Bundt pan and cook up some perks…

    1. Less Stress

    Measuring out ingredients or kneading dough forces you to concentrate. These mindful moments calm the brain’s emotional centre – and direct blood flow to its impulse control hub. Which means you’ll feel more chilled overall.

    TRY RECIPE: This Beetroot Chocolate Cake Is So Moist It Doesn’t Even Need Icing

    2. Boosted Immunity

    Eeek, you’ve burnt the base! When it happens, focus on the upside: now you, too, can join the #PinterestFail sisterhood! Regularly flipping judge-y thoughts to more positive ones can lower stress hormone levels, which improves cell health and your body’s overall ability to fight off illness.

    3. Enhanced Cognition

    Any way you bake it, mixing up Grandma’s muesli rusks provides great brain benefits. Stringently following a recipe strengthens your procedural memory (a form of long-term recall that allows you to do something you haven’t done in years – you know, the “it’s like riding a bike” cliché). But going rogue – and say, holding the raisins and adding dried cranberries – flexes your smarts and gives your strategic reasoning skills a workout.

    READ MORE: 15 Wellness Journals To Kickstart Your Year

    4. A Healthier Heart

    Moving from counter to fridge and back does not = cardio for the day! But it does engage your muscles, which improves the way your body metabolises sugars and fats. Keep at it for two hours and you’ll net better blood-sugar levels – and, over time, significantly lower “bad” cholesterol. This, in turn, strengthens your ticker.

    5. A Longer Life

    Friends don’t let friends bake alone – at least not if they want to spend their golden years together. Batter-ing up with a loved one can build strong bonds that tack years onto your life. Sharing the fruit(cake)s of your labour is even better: generous acts lower inflammation levels, curbing your risk for chronic diseases like diabetes.

    READ MORE: Everything You Need To Know About Type 1 Diabetes

    6. A Slimmer Bod

    Isn’t it ironic? Indulging in homemade treats once a week buoys self-control, maintains a healthy-eating motivation (finally, a break from kale!) and prevents the “oh, what the hell” effect that leads to inhaling the whole tray. The key is planning the indulgence. Have one or two brownies warm out of the oven, then feed the rest to friends.

    Sources: Dr Nicole M. Avena, author of Why Diets Fail; Dr Elisha Goldstein, author of Uncovering Happiness; Dr Timothy De Waal Malefyt, Fordham University; Dr Emma Seppälä, Stanford University School Of Medicine. More

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    FitnGlam Founder on transforming the landscape of women’s fitness in UAE

    Lifeby Sarah Joseph1 hour ago In January’s – The Alignment Issue cover story, Raising the Bar, Founder of FitnGlam, Helena Hijazi shares how she embarked on a journey to transform the landscape of women’s fitness in the region.Scroll through to read the interview below.What inspired you to launch FitnGlam?After moving to Dubai, I struggled to find a fitness space that catered exclusively to women, offering both privacy and a full range of equipment and services. The mixed gyms had small, under-equipped women-only areas. I envisioned a place where women could comfortably access all forms of fitness and wellness under one roof – cardio, weights, classes, and community – without the need to compromise. This was the inspiration behind FitnGlam.The facility also has direct access to a CRYO clinic, providing members with a rounded holistic journey – tell us more.We aim to offer as much value as possible to our members and our partnership with CRYO adds an exciting dimension to the FitnGlam experience. We want to provide a well-rounded approach to health and fitness and ensure our community has access to the latest and most effective wellness therapies. Cryotherapy has a lot of benefits, such as reducing muscle soreness, inflammation and accelerating recovery after workouts. I personally use CRYO and love the experience. It is now a key part of my wellness practises and perfectly complements my fitness routine.You’ve created a place in the UAE where women could just be themselves – was this the plan from the outset?Yes, absolutely – since day one, our focus with FitnGlam was to build a space where women could truly be themselves. We recognised the need for a fitness and wellness facility for women that catered to more than just the physical aspects of exercise. We wanted to create a space where women could feel entirely comfortable, both physically and emotionally, to embark on their fitness journeys. In many fitness settings, women can sometimes feel selfconscious or judged, which can be a significant barrier to achieving their goals. We wanted to break down those barriers and have an environment where women of all backgrounds, fitness levels, and ages could come together, support one another, and focus on their individual aspirations without any fear of judgment.FitnGlam has handpicked personal trainers and nutrition coaches who work with clients on custom plans. Can you expand on this?Our approach is personalised for each individual member. We start by simply having an open and honest conversation about your goals, expectations, fitness experience, and dietary needs. From there, our expert trainers and nutrition coaches collaborate to create tailored plans that align with your individual needs. These plans might incorporate strength training, cardio, or classes depending on your preferences, with a balanced dietary plan to complement your fitness and health journey. Our members’ success is our success, so we stay involved every step of the way to provide guidance, support, and motivation throughout the process and to ensure the results are long-term.To refuel, guests can visit PROTEINHOUSE – how important was it to have a dining space that complements the wellness element?We all know that fitness is not just about the exercises you do; it’s also about what you eat and the nutrition you provide your body. That is why we partnered with PROTEINHOUSE. It’s a place where members can grab a nutritious meal, snack, or smoothie pre- or post-workout, giving them the right fuel to make the most out of their fitness journey. We actually worked with PROTEINHOUSE to create a bespoke menu for FitnGlam centered around women – with preferred sizes, ingredients, and nutritional profiles that support a healthy, active female lifestyle. This means the food not only tastes great but also complements the specific nutritional needs of our members, whether they’re looking to build muscle, lose weight, or simply maintain a balanced diet.The gym has everything from boxing, Barre, yoga to Pilates – what are some of the main classes offered?We offer all sorts of classes for different interests and fitness levels. Our most popular classes are HIIT, Cycle, and Boxing for intense, calorie-burning sessions, yoga for flexibility and mindfulness, and Pilates for core strengthening and toning. We also offer specialised classes like dance-based workouts, and Barre for those who enjoy a mix of ballet, Pilates, and yoga. Our classes are boutique and specifically designed for women, so our members can always find something that resonates with their personal fitness journey.What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced and how did you overcome it?One of the most significant challenges we faced in the journey of establishing FitnGlam was entering the highly competitive fitness industry, particularly with like a huge risk, as many people warned us against excluding men from our clubs and cutting off half the potential customers. However, we wanted to stay true to our vision. We knew there was a specific need in the market for a fitness and wellness space dedicated solely to women. By focusing on this niche and building a club to suit the preferences of women from all walks of life, we not only stood out but also created a strong brand identity. This was ultimately our greatest strength, as it allowed us to build a community of over 8,000 women strong and an environment where women could feel comfortable, empowered, and supported on their fitness and wellness journeys.Do you enjoy managing the commercial or creative side of the business?My background is in the commercial side of business, but I would say that over time I have gravitated more towards the creative side. I felt this shift when we were developing the concept of FitnGlam, as I was trying to incorporate my own passion and vision into every aspect of the experience. I wanted to empower women through my own experiences with fitness and wellness but also through our shared experiences as women. This required a lot of creativity and reflection, and it has been really fulfilling to help shape the fitness experience at FitnGlam in this way. However, I also enjoy the commercial aspects of business and it is important to strike the right balance between both sides. So, I make sure to divide my focus and time on the commercial side to make sure we are running a sustainable business but also on the creative side to continue evolving and innovating the brand in ways that resonate with our community.What piece of advice would you tell your younger self?I would tell my younger self to trust the journey and not to fear taking risks. It’s important to believe in your vision, even if it seems overwhelming or unconventional at first. Also, I would say to never underestimate the power of hard work and even failure. There will always be challenges and setbacks in anything we do, but these are important learning opportunities. Embrace them, learn from them, and use them to become the best version of yourself.This is The Alignment Issue – what activities help you align yourself in daily life?For me, alignment comes from staying active and moving my body. I’ve found that this not only boosts my energy levels but also helps in maintaining focus and clarity in other areas of my life. I try to prioritise regular exercise, whether it’s a gym workout, a yoga session, or simply a walk outside. This is a key part of maintaining both my physical and mental health. Also, making time and spending time with my family. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle of daily responsibilities, but for me spending time with my family provides a sense of grounding and connection that is so important for my overall alignment.January’s – The Alignment Issue with FitnGlam  – Download Now– For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and InstagramImages: Supplied More

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    Is IVF for you? This expert shares all you need to know about reproductive health

    With a sharp rise in IVF (In vitro fertilization), women have entered a new age of awareness with regards to their fertility, as it has cracked open a host of possibilities.From women-centric business ventures to online communities, it all focuses on empowering women with knowledge and gain a deeper understanding of their reproductive realities.As the society’s approach towards the issues around fertility is changing, so is the science around it.Here, we scratch beyond the surface on the subject of IVF and reproductive health with medical practitioner Dr. Mari Mitrani, Chief Scientific Officer at Gattaca Genomics.Dr. Mari Mitrani, Chief Scientific Officer at Gattaca GenomicsTalk us through the IVF process – what can one expect?The IVF process typically begins with a period of ovarian stimulation, during which a woman receives hormonal medications to encourage the development of multiple mature eggs. These eggs are then retrieved through a minimally invasive surgical procedure. Meanwhile, sperm, from a partner or donor, is collected and prepared. In the laboratory, the retrieved eggs and sperm are combined to facilitate fertilization, forming embryos. Over the next few days, the embryologist monitors the embryos’ development, assessing their quality. Selected healthy embryos are then transferred into the woman’s uterus, with any remaining viable embryos being cryopreserved for potential future use. The entire IVF journey requires careful monitoring, precise timing, and the expertise of fertility specialists.The IVF process can have a heavy toll on the mind and body, it is often noted that infertility is considered multifactorial with respect to all the advancements in medicine and science, even now, there is still no guarantee that a successful pregnancy will and can occur for individuals seeking to conceive.Let’s talk about your work process. How do you start in helping your clients with their fertility concerns?As a physician-scientist in the field of infertility, I’m running a lab that offers Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT). PGT is a genetic screening done in fertilized embryos before they are selected for implantation. PGT is advancing and innovating the fertility space due to its added value in reporting Aneuploidy, which is the abnormal count of genes present in the embryo that explains a higher rate of miscarriages. Next-generation sequencing allows us to read valuable characteristics of embryonic genetics to predict and/or diagnose genetic disorders and diseases beforehand. Ultimately, we are utilizing artificial intelligence to further analyze and interpret data obtained through genetic testing.“your chances of having a family in the future are possible if you act sooner, rather than later.”When is the right time to consider it?We have precise statistical data referring to maternal age and how it impacts the production of healthy eggs. Although fertility and infertility is so multifactorial, the one thing we know is how to act on this specific characteristic. We know that after the age of 35, women’s egg quality starts deteriorating rapidly year by year. This has a significant impact on embryo quality and genetic abnormalities. As a woman who continuously cheers on other women to pursue their dreams, I would say always keep this cut-off time in your mind. Freezing healthy eggs or embryos early on, helps preserve the ability of couples and individuals to have a family later on. Unfortunately, many couples and individuals wait until after this age to begin their fertility journey, with much time working against those seeking treatment. Doctors, in conjunction with science, can only do so much to aid this process. This is one thing I would love to keep educating women worldwide on: your chances of having a family in the future are possible if you act sooner, rather than later.What are the benefits and risks that come along with it?There are risks in everything we do in the IVF field, but because so many of the advancements are around technology and data, the risks of physical harm are low. While the benefits of this technology haven’t fully been realized, the mass amount of data will yield improvements on multiple fronts, from higher pregnancy rates to lower error rates. Even though this field of medicine is relatively new, the advancements and fertility benefits keep growing yearly!The risk is very clear and not often spoken about, IVF will not achieve pregnancy in 100% of the cases, so it is important to know that your desired pregnancy might not happen after a cycle or cycles of IVF. Know that neither the medical or scientific community will give up to continue to advance innovation and therefore success rates.What are the newest advancements and approaches that support fertility chances available in the region?Advanced embryo selection tools like PGT and AI have added an extra layer of confidence when choosing the best embryo for transfer. Improvements in vitrification, embryo freezing, media, and techniques have allowed for improved survival of human eggs. This is a game changer for patients preserving their fertility before undergoing treatment for diseases like sickle cell and cancer. Time-lapse imaging has allowed us to collect and analyze data from every stage of development without disrupting embryo culture. More and more practices are prioritizing personalized care by tailoring treatment plans to their patient’s specific needs.How do you choose the perfect clinic for couples deciding to try IVF?Like any other specialty, the most important thing is to ensure that you and your doctor connect, on a professional and somewhat on a personal level. During this journey that many call long and complex, it is important for the couples to feel safe around the doctor, bold enough to ask questions or bring up concerns or even feel heard. Understanding one another plays a vital role in hopes of achieving the ultimate outcome of a successful pregnancy.Another major factor to consider is the physicians’ qualifications; in the US, there is a subspecialty of Gynecology that only deals with fertility called REI (Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility). These physicians have dedicated their careers only to helping couples in their fertility journey and have very high standards of care focused on the complex hormonal cycles and mechanics of conception with advanced knowledge of sperm, eggs, male anatomy, female anatomy, and scientific research.How does proper diet and lifestyle play into the entire IVF process?Dr. Natalie Crawford, a double board certified ObGyn/REI doctor, says: “A healthy diet that is good for your body is the best diet for your eggs and reproductive system!” A diet high in whole foods, rich in dark leafy greens, lots of fruits and veggies, nuts, seeds, and whole grains is scientifically proven to boost our overall health, including your fertility. While no one has a perfect diet all the time, the goal is to remain consistent and make healthy improvements as much as you can. Toxins also play a big role in the IVF process. Smoking, scented products and the chemicals in our household items can have a significant negative impact on your egg and sperm health. Reducing unhealthy habits like smoking, vaping, and cutting back on the amount of toxins in your household can improve your chances of having a successful IVF cycle. Regular exercise, has proven scientifically to increase your chances of fertility, and the interesting data comes not only from cardio training but from strength training, so ladies, it’s time to lift some weights!“We are usually looking for the latest trends and crazy expensive solutions, but it is the simple, logical changes that give us the most significant results.”Which food types should we incorporate to boost fertility naturally?Nothing will miraculously ensure a boost in fertility in a way that will guarantee pregnancy. If somebody is offering you this, please run as fast as possible! Infertility is multifactorial, and there is no such thing as a magic pill or “one size fits all” kind of strategy. You need to ensure you have the best doctor, healthcare providers and lab team in your corner to excel in your journey.We are usually looking for the latest trends and crazy expensive solutions, but it is the simple, logical changes that give us the most significant results. I propose something: what if you just start adding more “fruits” and “veggies” into your diet? Plant-based Omega-3’s are so essential to your diet, think walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds or brussel sproust. They have proven to increase the time to pregnancy, improve ovulation and overall fertility outcomes. Even though fish has Omega 3’s, we want to avoid heavy metal consumption. Complex carbohydrates (brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, oats, etc) are the right choice, not your enemies! Carbs are not the problem; you need them! Refined carbohydrates like white sugar, white rice, white pasta, and white flour are the ones you have to limit; they have been shown to lower the chances of getting pregnant. High insulin levels impact normal hormonal function in the ovaries and, therefore, egg quality and chromosomal abnormalities. Higher sugar and insulin levels early in pregnancy have been associated with miscarriages however it is crucial to note that research in this area is ongoing. Vitamin D3 has been shown to increase reproductive outcomes, live rate births, and improve egg and sperm quality.And the ones to avoid that adversely affect fertility?In IVF studies, patients with a higher intake of plants and a lower intake of red meat had better embryo development. Red meat has a high glycation end product (GES). These are endocrine disrupting chemicals, which have been shown to be detrimental to egg quality. The more you eat red meat, the worst your reproductive parameters will be.Two large cohort prospective studies have also shown a negative reproductive association with more dairy consumption, as it lowers reproductive outcomes. The suggestion is to limit or lower their intake of meat and dairy and increase consumption of a whole food plant based diet.“In essence, a partner’s presence and active participation can provide practical assistance and invaluable emotional support during the IVF journey.”How important is it to involve your partners in the IVF process?The involvement of a partner in the IVF process is of profound importance, both emotionally and medically. While infertility is often thought of as only a woman’s issue, male factor infertility can contribute up to 40-50% of all cases of infertility. It is crucial to not only have a woman’s fertility tested, but the male partner as well. IVF is a journey that requires not only medical support but emotional and psychological support. Having a partner by one’s side provides crucial emotional reassurance, as it can be a challenging and emotionally taxing experience. Partners can offer empathy, comfort, and a sense of shared responsibility throughout the process, strengthening their emotional bond. Moreover, partners often participate in decisions related to IVF treatment, including choosing treatment options, attending medical appointments, and providing valuable input during the decision-making process. Their active involvement fosters a sense of unity and teamwork, which can be empowering and comforting during the sometimes unpredictable and uncertain path of fertility treatments like IVF. In essence, a partner’s presence and active participation can provide practical assistance and invaluable emotional support during the IVF journey.– For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and InstagramImages: Pexels; Supplied More

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    10 Zen studios in Dubai to book for a yoga class

    Lifeby Sarah Joseph30 mins ago VIEW GALLERY/ 10 IMAGESAs it’s important to start the year on a positive note, it’s time to book a yoga session to feel calm from the inside out.So, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced yogi, there’s a class for everyone to try out and feel completely rejuvenated after.From Vinyasa to hip hop yoga, you can choose a class that fits best into your workout routine to relax and heal during your time off or for a midweek break.Hence, for inspiration on where to book next, Emirates Woman has curated the perfect guide of venues to book for your upcoming yoga class.– For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and InstagramImages: Supplied & Feature Image: Instagram @galaortin & Feature Image: Emirates Woman’s January Cover 2024 More

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    This UK-based expert shares her top tips to overcome stress in 2024

    Lifeby Sarah Joseph50 mins ago Maryam Meddin, founder of The Soke, a mental health and wellness clinic in London shares her tips on how to overcome stress in 2024.What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like, your morning routine look like?My alarm usually rings at 5am, after which I take a shower, fuel my system with coffee and ready to be out of the house by 6am. Unless there’s something that’s pressing on my mind, that hour would have been all about catching up with the news from around the world and I’ll have tried not to think about work.Talk us through your background.I was born in Iran but have spent most of my life in the UK, so I feel that I have the privilege of being enriched by two prominent cultures. There’s also been diversity in my professional life – I studied law, however later built a career in branding. When that was going well, I decided to explore my mental health through psychotherapy, which then led me to train as a psychotherapist, and finally towards the launch of The Soke.What inspired you to launch The Soke?There was a lot of loss in the first 25 years of my life, including the loss of my father and brother so, from a purely personal perspective, The Soke is really dedicated to them. I was around 40 when I decided to try therapy and it was a defining experience for me. Ultimately it was through this process of both being a user and a provider of mental health services that I was able to identify shortcomings on both sides and wanted to create a service that tried to address them.Tell us about the concept and what services does the clinic offer?We’re a private mental health centre with the full spectrum of services offered by psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists and coaches. It was designed to enable individuals with everyday issues (anxiety, depression, ADHD and more) to get the services they needed from a place that would treat them as clients, not patients. People don’t necessarily always know how to find the most appropriate solution for their emotional or psychological problems, so I wanted The Soke to provide all the options under the same roof and to have a strong service element that would help clients navigate the pathway that would serve them best. We satisfy their curiosity and support them so that they can make their own informed choices. You cannot overestimate the value of providing these sorts of tangential services around mental health, especially to parents who feel incredibly vulnerable when trying to make decisions around the care of their children. I believe that by making people feel empowered around their psychological health they’ll start engaging with their thoughts and emotions in a way that’s conducive to improving their wellness and therefore their quality of life. It’s no different to working with a personal trainer for your physical health: you fix the problem areas; you build strength and develop resilience in order to feel better overall.The clinic offers best-in-class psychotherapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, counsellors and leadership development specialists – tell us more.Our practitioners cover a range of specialties, from depression to ADHD to compulsive behaviours and everything in between. They’re all chosen based on their expertise and experience, as well as their appetite to collaborate with their peers to ensure that clients get the benefit of their pooled knowledge through a daily Multi-disciplinary Team Meeting. Paying practitioners to spend time quite simply talking to each other and sharing their insights is a model that doesn’t really exist in the private outpatient world, and this sort of collaborative ethos is why we’ve been lucky enough to draw some of the leading names in our field. Increasingly our clients are based outside the UK, and they come to us because our Multidisciplinary clinical model combined with the service element doesn’t really exist where they’re based.What are some of the major concerns that clients talk about?We’re inundated by calls requesting assessments: from ADHD to Educational Psychology and Autism – our primary responsibility is to make sure that concerns are reasonable, rather than say yes to everyone who wants to be tested. After that, it’s the ‘usual suspects’ of depression and anxiety – although we’re seeing much more of it in children than we used to. On the corporate side, workplace culture is playing an ever-growing role in the sustainability of organisations and so we work with a lot with leaders who are striving to strike the balance between being a leader that performs (from a business perspective) and one that transforms (from a cultural perspective). It demands a thoughtful type of leadership that allows consistency and change to co-exist and increasingly modern leaders are recognising the need to have a ‘safe space’ to ruminate and develop their thoughts.“I think that everyone should try to find that one space in their head, where going to it can bring them down from 100 to zero in a matter of minutes.”With stress levels constantly on the rise – what can help lower them?Naturally, I’m an advocate for talking – ideally to someone who doesn’t have a stake in your life and can help you to explore your anxieties without judgement or repercussion. Separate from that, I think that everyone should try to find that one space in their head, where going to it can bring them down from 100 to zero in a matter of minutes.How can employers create a working culture that boosts business resilience and growth?People in leadership positions need to lead by example: show strength in compassion and demonstrate a concerted effort to be a force for the good of the company’s people as well as its other stakeholders. The star players in any sector will want to work for those who can inspire them to succeed and grow as individuals as well as professionals – attracting and retaining talent is always an excellent starting point for longevity.What advice would you give to anyone who wishes to start therapy?A productive therapeutic process relies on the relationship of trust that exists between the client and practitioner – and that doesn’t come overnight, so after you’ve found someone with the right credentials, allow a couple of sessions to see if they feel right for you and whether you can envisage fully trusting this person at some point. That’s when the real work starts between you. Therapy isn’t designed to be fun – if you’re enjoying it because it’s easy then one of you isn’t doing your job right.We all want to start the year on a positive note – what would you recommend?Find that one thing to do or that one place in your head that gives you peace and visit it frequently.This is ‘The Alignment issue’ – what activities ensure you feel aligned daily?My alignment generally comes at the end of the day. I try to spend some time alone with my own thoughts to process and be ready for whatever’s coming next. The Soke’s core value is Generosity – to exercise it as frequently as opportunity allows, whether it’s with time, knowledge, kindness, humour or something tangible. I chose generosity not just because it’s such a positive attribute, but because it’s measurable. I can reflect on my day and examine whether I’ve lived by the value I espouse for my company. If the answer is yes, then I’m sufficiently aligned to fall asleep with a good conscience.January’s – The Alignment Issue with FitnGlam  – Download Now– For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and InstagramImages: Supplied & Feature Image: Pexels @Anete Lusina  More

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    LISS: A Complete Guide, From What It Actually Is, To Why And When To Do It

    You’re likely well-versed in HIIT, but how much do you know about LISS, a.k.a. ‘Low Intensity Steady State’ training? Also known as LISS cardio, the low-intensity training includes workouts such as walking, hiking or cycling. And it’s packed full of rewards that you’ll not want to be missing out on.

    So, we’re diving into a full explainer on what LISS is really about, from what LISS cardio is good for, to how to do a LISS workout properly and when to add it to your weekly schedule. Ready?

    1. What is LISS?

    ‘LISS’ stands for Low-Intensity Steady State training, so instead of pushing yourself to breaking point for short bursts, you aim for a lower level of exertion for a long, continuous period of time.

    For many years, LISS was the go-to exercise for burning exercise cals (think long runs and endurance cardio) but when its younger and speedier cousin HIIT (high-intensity interval training) came along, it was quickly relegated to the B-team. The main difference between the two is that in HIIT, you’ll get your heart rate close to max for a matter of seconds before resting and repeating, whereas in LISS your heart rate will rise to a much lower intensity but will be kept there for minutes or even hours. You can see why some people swung to team HIIT – with shorter bursts of exercise needed for health benefits.

    However, those of you that were quick to hang up your walking shoes may have jumped too soon – LISS has a myriad of benefits that shouldn’t be overlooked.

    In fact, a weekly routine that contains both LISS and HIIT workouts might help you hit your goals more quickly than if you were to commit to just one – more on this later.

    2. Benefits of LISS training

    There are myriad benefits to LISS cardio, including:

    Pain elimination

    Posture improvement

    Fat burn

    Improving your body’s cardiovascular capacity

    It’s accessible and scalable to all fitness levels

    Research shows that LISS can be just as beneficial for cardio health as HIIT and that there’s no difference in fat loss between groups who did continuous training and interval workouts.

    3. What are some example LISS workouts?

    LISS training is any low-endurance workout, all at a relaxed level. These can include:

    To be precise, LISS training or LISS cardio is any low-endurance workout that’s around 50-65% of your max heart rate, depending on your fitness level. In other words, you should still be able to hold a conversation whilst performing LISS, so it’s a good form of exercise to do with a friend or the family.

    ‘LISS is important because it breaks up your week,’ WH cover star and PT Kayla Itsines previously explained at Women’s Health‘s Live Virtual event.

    ‘Going for LISS [exercise] is so great for your overall fitness and also for your mind as well,’ she continued. ‘Set a 15-minute timer or a 20-minute timer and go for a walk and when it goes off, come back. It’s a really good way to break up your week and still stay active and motivated to do more.’

    But, for those who strongly dislike walking, cycling or hiking – don’t worry, you’re not alone! – there are some other options to get your LISS-fix:

    ‘A semi-fast yoga class you can do at home,’ is one option according to Itsines. Or, ‘you could even march on the spot while watching TV,’ she suggests.

    Try these LISS workouts:

    A two to five-kilometre walk, aiming for a pace between 8 and 10 minutes per kilometre depending on fitness levels.

    Hopping on a treadmill, cross-trainer or stationary exercise bike for 30-60 minutes at a moderate pace.

    A Vinyasa or ‘flow’ yoga class that keeps your heart rate between 40% and 60% of your maximum.

    Asoka Core Lite Yoga Mat

    Yogi Eco-Friendly Non-Slip Double Sided Yoga Mat

    5. LISS vs. HIIT

    Unlike HIIT – where you go balls-to-the-wall switching between max-effort bursts and short recovery periods – LISS is all about exercising at a slow and steady pace that burns fat over other energy sources, such as carbohydrates or food.

    ‘HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) alternates between powerful, limit-pushing bursts and slowed-down recovery periods, while LISS helps you achieve longevity in your training,’ explains Michelle Morrey.

    6. Why is LISS good for fat burning?

    Itsines frequently recommends LISS as part of her training programmes – citing the fact that LISS exercises such as walking burn the most fat per calorie when compared to jogging, running and sprinting.

    ‘In order to metabolise fat the body needs oxygen and the lower the intensity, the more oxygen is available to be used by the body to break down fat,’ Itsines explains. When you’re jogging or sprinting, less oxygen is available meaning that your body will use other energy sources, such as carbohydrates, for energy instead of fat.’

    Bear in mind, however, HIIT does still burn fat, as well as helping with muscle adaptations – plus it burns more calories in a shorter space of time, so if you can’t find the time for a full LISS workout, then HIIT is a great alternative.

    7. How much LISS should I do a week?

    At WH, we encourage you to experiment with your exercises and try out new workouts that will get your heart rate going – do make sure you see your GP if you have a condition, are pregnant, or are feeling under the weather – but working out is also about balance and finding out what’s good for you.

    ‘Ideally, only 20% of your workouts should be high-intensity,’ says Morrey. ‘Whether you’re an Olympic athlete or a mum, it’s the same. Say you work out five times a week, only two sessions should be HIIT. If HIIT is not carefully controlled, it can lead to injury.’

    The good thing about LISS is that it’s an easy, accessible and family-friendly way to keep fit and healthy.

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    8. Who is LISS good for?

    Luke Worthington, PT, Nike trainer and sports scientist, breaks down exactly why LISS isn’t just ‘the easy option out’:

    ‘TypicallyHIIT sessions have appealed to those who are time-poor people who need to fit in a short and effective workout. But, HIIT can actually cause more pressure as it’s a high-stress mode of exercise for the body but also for the mind and the nervous system.”

    So from this perspective, LISS may actually be best for those with stressful lives and could benefit more from a low octane, long duration exercise session that is more calming for the parasympathetic nervous system as well as causing less damage to the body,’ says Worthington.

    Morrey agrees with LISS being something that could benefit the vast majority of people but also something that’s gaining in popularity traction too:

    ‘There’s been a pendulum shift, which I’ve seen all over the world. Sport science is changing, and we’re realising that over-stressing the body is not beneficial and can lead to injury and sickness,’ she says.

    9. So, is LISS cardio good?

    It’s a resounding yes from all experts. In fact, Worthington tells us that he prescribes LISS workouts to almost all of his celebrity clients, including Dakota Johnson. They’ll do ‘LISS cardio, like a 60-minute walk, on non-workout days, around three times a week,’ he tells WH.

    This article by Bridie Wilkins and Morgan Fargo was originally published on Women’s Health UK. More

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    10 Health Benefits Of Pomegranate Seeds And Juice, According To Dietitians

    On our long list of summer-favourite foods, pomegranate is pretty high up there. Not only is this fruit a stunner with its gorgeous deep red hue, but it also packs a punch of flavour and sweetness into its tiny seeds (a.k.a. arils). Another pomegranate benefit? It adds the perfect pop of fun to salads and parfaits. And as if that wasn’t enough…it’s healthy, too.

    Pomegranates are celebrated for being low in calories but high in fibre, antioxidants and other vitamins and minerals. It’s a win-win-win in the aesthetic-flavour-nutrition department, which has us swooning over these stunners all season long.

    Meet the experts: Abigail Collen, RD, a registered dietitian. Rebecca Sarac, RD, is a registered dietitian who works to connect leading grocery retailers to their consumers through culinary-developed and inspired meals.

    Let’s dive deeper into the nutrition numbers, shall we?

    Here’s how the nutrients shake out for a half-cup of pomegranate seeds, according to USDA data:

    Calories: 72

    Fat: 1 g

    Saturated Fat: 0.1 g

    Carbohydrates: 16 g

    Sodium 2.6 mg

    Sugar: 11.9 g

    Fibre: 3.48 g

    Protein: 45 g

    Potassium: 205 mg

    To address the elephant in the room, yes, pomegranates *are* higher in sugar than other fruits (for comparison, a half-cup of raspberries has only 3 grams, compared to around 12 grams in pomegranates). But—and this is important—fruits like pomegranate also have fibre that helps slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.

    “Over the past few decades, diet culture has taught us to fear sugar in all its forms. However, the wide variety of vitamins and minerals as well as the fibre you get with fruits far outweighs the perceived cost of the slightly higher sugar content.”
    Abigail Collen

    Speaking of those vitamins and minerals, let’s dive into all those health benefits of pomegranates:

    1. They’re antioxidant-rich

    Pomegranates are chock-full of polyphenols (anthocyanins, punicalagins and hydrolyzable tannins) containing potent antioxidant properties.

    These antioxidants, in turn, help protect against “free radicals” which, in science-speak, are “molecules which have had a breakage in their chemical bond, making them unstable, highly reactive and capable of causing cell damage that manifests as ageing and disease,” explains Rebecca Sarac, RD.

    By working to eliminate free radicals, pomegranates help decrease cellular damage and fight off disease. And get this: pomegranates boast more antioxidant potential than red wine or green tea…not too shabby, right?

    2. They may help protect heart health

    Certain studies have shown that pomegranate extract may help lower blood pressure by reducing LDL (the “bad cholesterol”) and boosting HDL (the “good cholesterol).

    As Collen explains, LDL is labelled “bad” because of the “elevated levels of lipoprotein, which can build up in arteries and increase our risk for heart attacks or strokes. HDL, on the other hand, helps the body eliminate excess cholesterol in the blood by bringing it to the liver for excretion.”

    By helping reduce LDL and boost HDL, pomegranates may help protect against cardiovascular disease, a.k.a. heart disease.

    3. And they may have some anti-cancer properties, too

    While no food can definitively prevent or cure cancer (if only!), there has been promising research conducted on the effects of pomegranate juice, fruit, and/or extract on prostate cancer cells, as well as breast cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer and skin cancer.

    4. They may help boost exercise endurance

    Remember those polyphenols we talked about earlier? Well, there are studies showing that pomegranate in extract form may help increase exercise endurance by increasing “total time to exhaustion” as well as time to reach “ventilatory threshold.”

    “The research is still early,” caveats Collen, “but early evidence points to the fact that pomegranate in certain forms may help with exercise endurance and muscle recovery (similar to the effects of beets).”

    5. They help support urinary health

    Oxidative stress is a risk factor for kidney stones. Pomegranate juice, with its antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory effects, has been shown to possibly help prevent the formation of kidney stones.

    READ MORE: Make These 4 Low-Calorie Cocktails If You’re Watching Your Weight

    6. They’re packed with potassium

    205 mg per half cup, to be exact. “Potassium serves many functions in the body,” says Collen, “including facilitating nerve signalling muscle contraction and helping maintain blood pressure.”

    7. They may help boost brain function

    Inside the peel and seeds of the pomegranate is an anti-inflammatory polyphenol called ellagitannins, which influence our gut-brain axis. Specifically, pomegranates are being studied for their protective effects against common forms of dementia like Alzheimer’s disease.

    8. They’re gut-friendly

    Pomegranates boast some seriously impressive benefits when it comes to digestive health as well…shout-out to all that fibre to keep things, ahem, moving along. It also helps that pomegranates have some prebiotic properties (as a reminder, prebiotics feed probiotics, the good bacteria in the gut).

    “The good microbes in our gut benefit from the fibre and polyphenols in pomegranates as a source of prebiotics,” explains Sarac. “As a result, the good microbes flourish, decreasing inflammation and improving intestinal health.”

    READ MORE: Spinach, Beetroot & Pomegranate Salad

    9. They help support immunity

    Prebiotics aren’t just gut-friendly: “By keeping our gut bacteria fed, we can help improve digestion and even immunity,” points out Collen.

    The high vitamin C count doesn’t hurt either. In a half-cup of pomegranate seeds, you’ll rake in 8.87 mg, which is 11.8 percent of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for adult women.

    10. And they may help ease joint pain (arthritis included)

    Feeling a little achy and stiff? Pomegranates may help. “In extract form, pomegranate has been shown to help inhibit inflammatory cytokines (or small proteins) which can contribute to osteoarthritis and joint disease,” says Collen.

    Wait, what about weight loss?

    Pomegranates aren’t typically touted for their effects on weight loss because TBH, the jury’s still out on this one.

    That said, because they’re naturally low in calories and high in fibre, they will help you to feel fuller, longer while contributing to a caloric deficit.

    The fact that they’re gut-friendly may also play a role in the weight loss department. “Our gut microbiomes are a huge contributor to having a balanced weight,” says Sarac, “because they take care of our digestive health and help keep our blood sugar under control.”

    Ultimately, what’s most important in any weight loss or weight management protocol is swapping ultra-processed foods for whole, natural, nutrient-dense fruits (pomegranates included!) and vegetables, which “will nearly always lead to improved health functioning,” Sarac adds.

    Collen agrees. “Unfortunately, there’s no one magic food that is going to cause weight loss; however, a diet high in fibre-rich, whole foods will certainly improve your health and could lead to some weight loss.”

    Soooo…can I eat pomegranates all day every day?

    Not so fast. While the potential health benefits of pomegranates are impressive, there *is* such a thing as too much of a good thing—especially given the fruit’s higher sugar content. Plus, you should be cautious if you’re taking medications. As Collen explains, certain compounds in fruits like pomegranate (or grapefruit) could interact with other drugs or impact their potency, so be sure to check with your doctor, especially if you’re on ACE inhibitors, statins, or blood thinners.

    Do I get the same health benefits with fresh pomegranate seeds and pomegranate juice?

    You’ll get more fibre with the whole pomegranate seed. And more fibre = better digestion and satiety, plus more stable blood sugar. But that doesn’t mean we need to shun fruit juice entirely. In fact, in juice form you’ll get a higher concentration of antioxidants and a whole lot of vitamin C and vitamin K.

    If you’re going to drink pomegranate juice, Sarac recommends pairing it with foods that contain fibre to balance out the sugar intake (smoothie, anyone?). Alternatively, try cutting the pomegranate juice with sparkling water to add a pop of flavour while minimizing sugar.

    Real talk: How in the WORLD do I get pomegranate seeds out?

    There’s no shortage of internet debate on the best way to remove arils from the pomegranate without staining your countertops or clothing. So, we asked the WH Test Kitchen to break down the best way:

    Fill up a large bowl of water. Cut the pomegranate in half, then submerge it in water. From there, carefully peel out the seeds using your fingers. While the seeds should sink to the bottom, the white part of the flesh should rise to the top. Once done, skim off the white flesh and toss out, then drain—and voilà, you’re left with bright red gems to sprinkle on salads, yoghurt, dips and more. Once de-seeded, the arils will stay fresh in an airtight container for up to a week.

    This article written by Jacqueline Parisi was originally published on Women’s Health. More

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    Take the wellness plunge with 8 of these picturesque resorts in The Maldives

    Begin the year by experiencing a wellness deep-dive at some of the most sophisticated resorts in the Maldives.With an overwhelming work schedule, long hours in front of the screen or a back-to-back itinerary of events, finding the time to breathe and take a break, doesn’t come easy – especially if you live in bustling metropolitan cities.An idyllic wellness escape to reset ready for 2024 is a must for new year to balance body and mind.Joali Being BodufushiThis property offers you personalised wellbeing programmes. From the minute you enter, this wellness sanctuary focuses on finding out which aspect of yourself from the Mind, Microbiome, Skin and Energy needs attention. Home to a total of 68 guest villas, consisting of 33 beach villas and 35 water villas, each accommodation comes with its own private infinity pool. Guided by a team of wellbeing experts, culinary maestros, herbalists, tea sommeliers, and personal trainers, among others, guests can fully immerse in the island’s elemental therapies and healing experiences. Inspired by the joy of spice markets is Aktar, also known as the herbology centre to treat any ailments naturally. For an immersive wellbeing experience, Areka provides recreation facilities with alternative healing treatments.The Hero ExperienceFor healing through water, the Watsu therapy takes place in the Kaashi and focuses on the art of letting go with the therapist who stretches you through free-flowing exercises. All you have to do is trust the process.For more information visit joalibeing.comSix Senses LaamuSurrounded by beautiful coral reefs, the accommodation options include a mix of overwater and beach villas. Prioritizing privacy and seclusion, this resort is situated in the Laamu Atoll, a 25-minute speedboat ride from Velana International. Visitors can discover their dosha with Ayurveda and enjoy nourishing local Maldives spa treatments and restorative facials. Each post-treatment relaxation session ends with a gut-cleansing smoothie at the juice bar to top up the experience. From the meals you relish to the way you sleep and the earth beneath your feet, wellness is seamlessly integrated into your overall Six Senses experience.The Hero ExperienceThrough a non-invasive wellness screening process, guests can book a consultation with the experts to understand what their body needs and then avail of a personalised spa treatment to cater to their specific needs. Through biohacking, the team at the resort can optimise the body’s natural processes to recover quicker, helping the guest to look their best and make the most of their brief stay at the resort. The hacks feature compression therapy, pain relief and instant tension release.For more information visit Blanc RandheliFrom a series of specially crafted experiences to exploring the marine-life-rich waters, this rejuvenating resort focuses on a results-driven renewal with three bespoke wellness journeys. The first is a Well-being Journey that encourages gentle restoration through healing activities; the second is a Detox and Fitness Journey which sheds light on de-stressing and blends healthy dieting with diverse spa, fitness and sports practices; and the third is the Family Well-being Journey for the full family to accomplish their goals together through spa lessons and a teamwork culinary session.The Hero ExperienceTry the Moon Salutation Yoga for a soul-nourishing session at the Spa Yoga pavilion surrounded by the shimmering waters of Noonu Atoll. The session is followed by a Carte Blanche dining experience in the privacy of your villa.For more information visit chevalblanc.comBaros MaldivesOne of the oldest resorts in the Maldives, guests here can put wellness at the forefront with experiences such as a complimentary morning yoga class on The Lighthouse Deck. The waves will lap gently on the sandbank shore as you stretch and breathe. The Serenity Spa therapists can expertly tailor a series of treatments to suit individual guests to deliver maximum benefit during their holiday at Baros Maldives. For soothing one’s mind and spirit, private yoga and meditation sessions can be arranged in the air-conditioned spa pavilion, on the guest’s villa deck, on the Lighthouse Deck or at sunrise and sunset on a sandbank.The Hero ExperienceThe property’s resident yoga therapist takes guests on a yoga journey with advanced poses on the deck, where they are surrounded by crystal-clear water.For more information visit baros.comFinolhuThis property is situated in the Baa Atoll, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Maldives. The resort’s Wellness Centre allows guests to enjoy a refreshing yoga session or an invigorating workout in an oceanfront setting amidst lush surroundings. With activities such as the semi-submarine, visitors can enjoy this experience to witness nature first-hand. Whether guests are staying as couples, family, or a group of friends, Finolhu is designed as an island playground with a choice of immersive experiences for everyone.The Hero ExperienceCool down by sweating with the Hydrotherapy that instantly cleans the skin and ensures you feel relaxed. The facilities at Fehi Spa after an intense workout help to reduce muscle soreness the next day, with the plunge pool hydrotherapy an absolute must-try.For more information visit finolhu.comAnantara Kihavah Madives VillasThis state-of-the-art resort works on healing from the inside out through the healing properties of indigenous plants and fruits. With restorative facials and vitamin IV infusions, including other detoxification therapies, its luxurious water villa spa goes back in time to rely on 5,000-year-old natural Ayurvedic healing techniques. From holistic treatments to a customised rejuvenation journey with the resident Ayurvedic Master, visitors here can elevate their wellness experience at the resort’s stunning overwater Maldives spa.The Hero ExperienceTry the Kativasthi which is a unique spinal herbal bath where a small natural paster reservoir is created on the lower back with the bare skin acting as its base. The medicated oil remains there for 45 minutes and is used to treat chronic or acute back pains including spinal disorders, lumbar spondylosis, sciatica and osteoporosis.For more information visit SoulThis transformative wellness concept uses uplifting ancient healing wisdom coupled with the latest in science and innovation to connect the mind and soul. The resort’s experienced therapists create a personalised wellness experience that empowers each guest to achieve long-term wellness goals. With its nature-inspired design, the island’s wellness sanctuaries blend integrative medicine and complementary therapies to promote true healing and attempt to release visitors from unexplained stress and chronic illnesses.The Hero ExperienceThe Medicinal Herbal Bath layers guests with both fresh and dry elements to boost their mood, calm the mind, soothe sore muscles, open pores, soften skin and promote a restful sleep.For more information visit Maldives Olhahali IslandSituated in the heart of Olhahali Island, this picturesque resort stands out for its Mediterranean chic design. Guests can take their pick with the therapeutic spa treatments or access the 24-hour fitness centre with captivating views of the crystal waves. Located just an hour by speedboat, or 15 minutes by seaplane, from Velana International, this property set in a beautiful archipelago is curated with calming interiors and lush green vegetation all around for nature to play its part in your wellness journey.The Hero ExperienceFor an elevated wellbeing experience, opt for the Tibetan Crystal Healing Massage that allows the power of the Tibetan Singing Bowl and Healing Crystals to take root. As the treatment focuses on the vibrational sound that aids the vital energy to achieve a deeper sense of relaxation, the crystals interact with the body’s energy field, creating balance and alignment.For more information visit /stay/maldives/jumeirah-maldivesThe Alignment Issue with FitnGlam  – Download Now– For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and InstagramImages: Supplied More