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    How To Get Fit At 40 – And Thriving Healthy Tips

    This is the prime of your life – yes, your 40s are it! It’s a time when staying active and taking care of your health becomes even more crucial. As your body goes through changes, it’s essential to understand how to adapt your fitness routines accordingly.

    Engaging in physical activity also supports cognitive function, keeping your mind sharp and focused as you navigate the challenges of work and family life. It can improve sleep quality, which becomes increasingly important as hormonal changes may disrupt your rest.

    By incorporating exercise into your routine, you’re investing in a healthier future self by promoting cardiovascular health and supporting bone density. Plus, staying active can enhance flexibility and balance to prevent injuries that may be more common as we age.

    “If you’re not engaging in regular aerobic and strength training by your forties, it’s possible there may be a shift towards insulin insensitivity,” says Dr Amal Hassan, a sports and exercise medicine consultant. Oestrogen optimises insulin levels (the hormone needed to move glucose out of your bloodstream and keep blood sugar levels regulated)

    Unilateral Training

    In your forties, unilateral (single-sided) moves should be front and centre of your strength training routine. “Exercises such as single-leg Romanian deadlifts and single-arm dumbbell rows, are great for improving balance and ironing out any muscular imbalances,” says McGowan. “By doing them, you test your balance and work oneside of your body at a time, which isolates and strengthens weak muscles.” It’s a game changer for injury prevention, too.

    Quick, Short Bursts of Activity

    Giving your metabolism a boost is the name of the game, here. “Regular activity is vital for reducing the risk of insulin insensitivity, which could lead to diabetes and weight gain, as exercise moves blood sugar into the muscles for storage and promotes an immediate increase in insulin sensitivity, rather than leaving excess insulinfloating in your body,” explains Dr Hassan. “Short walks after meals and reducing alcohol intake to within the guidelines (or lower) are powerful ways to improve your metabolism.” The thinking is that rather than aiming for longer 20-minute sessions, know that four five-minute bursts could also work wonders.

    Do More Balanced Moves

    Your balance may also begin to wobble a little. Research in Frontiers In Neurology found that the ‘vestibular threshold’ was more than 80% higher in participants over the age of 40.

    Get Fit In Your 40s: The 10 Minute Stretch

    Instructions: Complete the exercises in this yoga workout in order. Move from one to the next without resting. Rest 45 to 60 seconds at the end of the circuit, then repeat for up to three rounds

    READ MORE: The 14 Yoga Stretches To Do Daily If You Want To Become More Flexible

    1. Sukhasana To Half Moon

    Start in an easy seated pose (Sukhasana). Sit like this for a minute with your eyes closed and hands in your lap, breathing deeply. Raise your arms to the sky and then over to your right into half moon.

    Repeat on the left, then inhale, raising your arms up again and lengthening your spine. Exhale as you reach your hands in front of you.

    2. Cat And Cow

    Place your hands on the floor, then walk them forward and move onto all fours. Spend a few breaths performing cat and cow: inhale and arch your back, sticking your tailbone up.

    Exhale and round your back, tucking your tailbone. Continue alternating.

    READ MORE: Boost Your Morning Routine With This Easy 15-Minute Yoga Flow

    3. Downward-facing Dog To Standing Mountain

    From cat and cow, push up into downward-facing dog .

    Walk your hands back towards your feet, or your feet towards your hands, and exhale into forward fold, then roll up into a standing mountain pose.

    READ MORE: This 6-Move Yoga Sequence Will Seriously Strengthen Your Tummy

    Foods You Should Be Eating In Your 40s

    Proper nutrition plays a critical role in staying fit and healthy, especially as you hit your 40s. As your metabolism starts to slow down, it becomes even more important to fuel your body with the right nutrients. Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains can help maintain a healthy weight and provide sustained energy throughout the day.

    In your 40s increasing your protein intake from 15 percent of your total calories to 30 percent can help you boost the calories your body burns during digestion.

    Switch to low-GI foods rich in soluble fibre, which helps to lower bad cholesterol. These include: Green vegetables, some fruits, kidney beans, chickpeas and lentils.

    Hydration is another essential aspect of proper nutrition that often gets overlooked but is crucial for maintaining energy levels and supporting bodily functions.

    Habits To Avoid In Your 40s

    “I often see clients putting pressure on themselves when they notice that their bodies are changing due to hormones,” says McGowan.

    “Consistency is key but going all out isn’t necessary. I recommend two or three moderate to intense workouts per week, but the most important thing is to reduce sedentary behaviour – stand as often as you can and always walk to your destination if it’s an option.”

    Bragg agrees: “Your body is going through a huge hormonal shift – oestrogen and progesterone levels decrease as ovaries stop producing them, and the control hormones (FSH, follicle-stimulating hormone and LH, luteinising hormone) released by the pituitary gland in the brain shoot up. This all contributes to the most common menopausal symptoms, including fatigue, weight gain and hot flushes. Doing intense workouts will only send hormonal imbalance further off-kilter as they increase the stress hormone cortisol.” Try incorporating at least one yoga session per week.

    This article written by Bridie Wilkins first appeared in the July/August 2022 Issue of Women’s Health UK additional reporting by the Women’s Health SA team.

    Icons at Freepik – Flaticon More

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    How To Get Fit In Your 20s – This Is Your Healthy Routine

    How to get fit in your 20s? Easy. This is the decade in which you’re most likely to be in your peak physical condition; your reaction times are at their fastest, you can build muscle quicker and recover from tough sessions faster. You’re also developing your musculoskeletal strength. “Because bone density peaks in your twenties to early thirties, undertaking weight-bearing activity [where your bones are supporting your weight] like running, soccer or netball, in combination with a strength programme, can maximise your bone health for life,” says Dr Rebecca Robinson, consultant physician in sport and exercise medicine.

    Embracing an active lifestyle now will not only benefit you in the present but will also pave the way for a healthier future. Let’s dive into how you can kickstart your fitness journey in your 20s and make lasting changes that will impact both your body and mind positively.

    Strength Is Key

    The workout you want to do is the one you should do (it’s the one you’ll keep up), but there’s resounding encouragement around strength training. “It’s great for increasing muscle mass and boosting metabolism and confidence,” says personal trainer Samantha McGowan.

    The latter is particularly important in your twenties: several studies have shown that women’s confidence increases with age, while others show that strength training can seriously bolster self-esteem, as lifting heavier and achieving goals gives you a sense of achievement. Dr Hassan concurs. “Finding a balance of basic activity forms (cardio and strength) is key, but your weekly schedule should include at least one strength training session. The type is up to you – body weight, free weights or weight machines all reap the same rewards. I’d advise a combination.”

    Understand Your Body

    Track your menstrual cycle and practise pelvic floor exercises. Contract for three seconds, then relax and repeat. Do eight to 10 daily. Around 21 percent of women in South Africa suffer from a form of incontinence, but strengthening the pelvic area can be game-changing. “Monitor your workout performance during your monthly cycle and see if there are any patterns,” advises Dr Hassan. The four phases: menstrual, follicular, ovulatory and luteal affect hormones, energy levels, strength and endurance. For example, the rise in oestrogen levels post-menstruation means you may have more energy.

    Make Time For Rest

    While this is a great time to fall in love with exercise, over-exercising is common among women of this agegroup. For many of the 20-something patients Dr Nicky Keay, an exercise endocrinologist, sees for amenorrhoea (loss of periods), it can be directly attributed to relative energy deficiency in sport (RED-S, pronounced ‘reds’). “It’s a disparity between food intake (the energy and micronutrients you’re consuming) and the nutrition required to cover the energy demands of exercise and the basic ‘housekeeping’ tasks in the body,” she explains. If you’re concerned that your workouts are taking their toll, Dr Keay suggests ditching high-intensity exercise and building in some slow strength and conditioning sessions, too.

    Get Fit In Your 20s: How To Do This Bodyweight Mobility Workout

    Each exercise done for 45 seconds with a 15-second rest. Repeat the circuit 3 times for a sweaty bodyweight HIIT session. If you have any injuries, please check with your medical practitioner to see if it safe for you to do the following bodyweight exercises. Remember to have fun!

    1. Rolling cobra

    Start in a hovering child’s pose and extend your legs up to a down dog (A) Shift your weight forward, round your back as you move through a plank, and then a hanging cobra-style position (B). Continue for 45 seconds.

    READ MORE: Your 4-Week Home Workout Plan To Get Fit And Strong AF

    2. Beast reach to high plank

    From hovering child’s pose spring your knees forward to a high plank. Reach and repeat for 45 seconds (A).

    3. Beast reach, high plank, runners lunge

    Move from hovering child’s pose to high plank and then step your foot on the outside of the same side hand for runners lunge (A). Reach back to hovering child’s pose (B). Repeat alternating sides for 45 seconds.

    READ MORE: The Best Back Stretches To Tackle Upper And Lower Back Pain, From A Yoga Instructor

    4. Beast reach, high plank, runner lunge to sit through

    Once in runner lunge, lift your back foot up through the middle of the body (A). Lift the opposite hand off the floor too, balancing on one hand and foot (B). Come back to your starting position and repeat for 45 seconds.

    Foods You Should Be Eating In Your 20s

    Remember, balance is key! Allow yourself occasional treats but aim for consistency with nourishing foods that support your fitness journey. Your body will thank you for it!

    Go for food high in fibre like beans, fruits, veggies and whole grains. High-fibre foods digest more slowly and are also more filling, which means they’re a good option for weight control.

    Calcium plays a role in heart health, muscle function and nerve signalling. Many seeds are good sources of calcium. Cheese, yoghurt and sardines are also great sources of calcium.

    Eat the rainbow. Aim for five servings of vegetables a day (1 serving = ½ cup cooked or 1 cup salad) and try to have a bigger variety of veggies each week.

    Habits To Avoid In Your 20s

    Overtraining. The idea that you’re near-invincible during your twenties is only natural – you’ve got energy for days and can sail through any sweat session with a hangover like it’s nothing, but the ‘too much of a good thing’ adage may apply. Over-exercising is something personal trainer Caroline Bragg sees in plenty of her clients in their twenties. “Overtraining can lead to RED-S [relative energy deficiency syndrome], when the body isn’t taking on enough energy to meet demand,” she says. “This can lead to your body fat dropping so low that you stop producing oestrogen, which in turn can nix your periods (amenorrhea). Later on, this lack of oestrogen can cause loss of libido, trouble sleeping and difficulty concentrating.”

    This article written by Kirsti Buick first appeared in the July/August 2022 Issue of Women’s Health UK, additional reporting by Women’s Health SA team. More

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    5 effective ways to control your stress hormone on the daily

    Life

    by Ruman Baig
    2 hours ago

    Feeling frazzled? You’re not alone. Daily pressures can send cortisol, the body’s stress hormone, into overdrive.
    For women, chronically high cortisol can disrupt sleep, worsen PMS symptoms, and even contribute to weight gain. But don’t despair! Here are 5 science-backed strategies to keep your cortisol levels in check and your well-being soaring:
    Power Down for Power Up

    Sleep is the ultimate stress soother. Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night. Create a relaxing bedtime routine, including winding down electronics at least an hour before bed.
    Why it Works: According to a study published in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, just one night of short sleep can significantly elevate cortisol levels.
    Breathe Deeply, De-Stress Completely

    Deep breathing activates the relaxation response, a natural antidote to cortisol’s fight-or-flight effects. Practice belly breathing for just 5 minutes daily. Inhale slowly through your nose, feeling your belly expand. Exhale slowly through pursed lips.
    Science Says So: A review published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology highlights the effectiveness of deep breathing in reducing cortisol levels and promoting relaxation.
    Nourish Your Body, Tame Your Stress

    A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains provides sustained energy and minimizes blood sugar fluctuations that can trigger cortisol spikes. Limit processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive caffeine, which can worsen anxiety and stress.
    Move It or Lose It (the Stress, That Is!)

    Exercise is a potent stress reliever. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week. Physical activity helps burn off stress hormones and promotes the production of feel-good endorphins.
    The Science of Sweat: A meta-analysis published in the journal Sports Medicine concluded that regular exercise is an effective strategy for reducing cortisol levels and improving stress management.
    Connect and Be Kind

    Social connection is a powerful buffer against stress. Nurture relationships with loved ones, engage in activities you enjoy, and consider volunteering. Acts of kindness boost both your mood and the well-being of others, creating a positive feedback loop.
    By incorporating these tips into your daily routine, you can effectively manage your cortisol levels and cultivate a calmer, healthier you. Remember, consistency is key. Be patient, celebrate your progress, and enjoy the journey to a more balanced and stress-free life!
    – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram
    Images: Unsplash, Pexel & feature image: @xun1020 More

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    This Scalable HIIT Workout Will Be Your New Go-To For All-Over Gains

    Looking for a low-intensity scalable HIIT workout that works for beginners and advanced fitness enthusiasts? Look no further than this workout, which prioritises speed over power for all-over toning and of course, hitting those heart rate goals.

    What exactly is HIIT?

    Essentially interval training on speed, HIIT involves bursts of flat-out exertion alternating with rest periods. The best part: a workout can last anything from 30 minutes to just four.

    Added to that, a flurry of studies has shown that you get all the benefits (and more) of an hour-long steady-state workout in a fraction of the time. The catch? You have to be prepared to push yourself close to your drenched-in-sweat, heart-pounding max for the high-intensity periods. But it’s doable since your time in all-out effort lasts just 30 seconds.

    How to do this scalable HIIT workout

    Do this scalable HIIT workout two or three days a week in place of your usual cardio days (don’t skip strength training). Starting with the first exercise, complete as many reps as you can in 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds. Continue until you’ve finished all the exercises. That’s one circuit. Repeat three more times. Good news: you can tailor high-intensity interval training to your fitness level. Use these guidelines from trainer and group exercise instructor Rachel Vaziralli.

    Beginner:  Ratio: 1:3 (Go all out for 30 seconds; rest for 90 seconds)

    Intermediate: Ratio: 1:2 (Go all out for 30 seconds; rest for 60 seconds)

    Fit: Ratio: 1:1 (Go all out for 30 seconds; rest for 30 seconds)

    Super-Fit: Ratio: 2:1 (Go all out for 30 seconds; rest for 15 seconds)

    You’ll need: Floor space; a kettlebell (challenging, but not so heavy that you struggle to lift it).

    1. Squat Thrust

    Stand with your feet together and your arms at your sides. Squat down to the floor and place your hands in front of your feet (A). Jump your legs back into push-up position (B), then quickly reverse the movement and stand to return to start. That’s one rep.

    READ MORE: Food, Fitness & Family: How Zinhle Masango Juggles It All

    2. Prisoner Squat

    Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and place your hands behind your head, elbows out (A). Keeping your chest up and back flat, push your hips back and bend your knees until your thighs are nearly parallel to the floor (B). Push through your heels to return to start. That’s one rep.

    READ MORE: Get A Full-Body Workout In Just 15 Minutes With Only 2 Household Items

    3. Prone Hand Touch

    Get into push-up position, your hands shoulder-width apart and your body forming a straight line from head to heels (A). Keeping your body stable and hips parallel to the floor, lift your left hand and touch your right hand (B), then return to start. Repeat with the right hand. That’s one rep. Continue alternating.

    READ MORE: Tone-Up From Head To Toe With This Killer 15-Minute Workout

    4. Alternating Kettlebell Clean

    Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, a kettlebell (or dumbbell) sitting between your feet. Push your hips back and bend your knees to lower and grab the weight with your right hand (A). With your back flat and core tight, stand and raise the weight to shoulder height (B). Reverse the move to return to start. Repeat with your left hand. That’s one rep. Continue alternating.

    READ MORE: 30 Plank Variations That Will Transform Your Core From A Trainer

    5. Alternating Reverse Lunge

    Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hands on your hips, chest up and shoulders back (A). Keeping your upper body still and core tight, take a large step back with your right foot, then bend both knees to lower into a lunge (B). Press through your left heel to return to standing. Repeat, stepping back with your left foot. That’s one rep. Continue alternating. More

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    This One-Dumbbell Workout Is Perfect For Home Or A Packed Gym

    Whether you’re in a packed gym and could only find one lonely dumbbell or if you’re working with a sparsely-stocked home gym, there’s a lot you can accomplish with this one-dumbbell workout.

    Using just one piece of equipment doesn’t mean you can’t get a good workout. In fact, when you’re short on time, stuck at home, or navigating a packed gym, scaling back can make you more efficient. Added to that, using one weight allows for unilateral moves that challenge your balance, firing up your core and stabiliser muscles in your legs and elsewhere. Simplify your routine without sacrificing results with this one-dumbbell workout from trainer Craig Ballantyne.

    How to do this one-dumbbell workout

    Using the heaviest weight you can handle (while maintaining proper form), perform the prescribed number of reps for each exercise in order, resting 30 seconds between moves. (If needed, you can rest up to a minute, or make it tougher by dropping that break altogether.) That’s one circuit.

    Rest for two minutes, then finish as many circuits as you can in 15 minutes. Beginner? Start with two circuits and build from there.You’ll need: a bench; one heavy dumbbell

    1. Narrow-stance goblet squat

    Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a dumbbell vertically in front of your chest, both hands cupping the dumbbell head (A). Keeping your chest up and your core tight, sit your hips back and squat as low as you can (B). Press through your heels to return to start. That’s one rep. Do 15.

    READ MORE: 30 Plank Variations That Will Transform Your Core From A Trainer

    2. Single-arm bent-over row

    Place your left knee and hand on a bench and hold a weight in your right hand at arm’s length (A). Pull the dumbbell up to your ribcage (B), then lower back to start. That’s one rep. Do 10, then repeat on the other side.

    READ MORE: Get A Full-Body Workout In Just 15 Minutes With Only 2 Household Items

    3. Single-arm chest press

    Lie face-up on a bench, holding a dumbbell in your left hand at your chest (A). Press the weight directly upward (B). Slowly lower back to start. That’s one rep. Do 10, then switch arms and repeat.

    READ MORE: 8 Ways To Build Stronger Thighs

    4. Dumbbell swing

    Hold a dumbbell with both hands using an overhand grip and stand with feet hip-width apart. Push your hips back, knees slightly bent, and lower your chest to bring the dumbbell between your legs (A). Keeping your core tight, push your hips forward and swing the dumbbell up to shoulder height (B). Reverse the movement, swinging the weight back between your legs. That’s one rep. Do 15. More

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    Looking for ways to reduce your stress hormones? 5 easy steps to control your cortisol

    Life

    by Ruman Baig
    2 hours ago

    Feeling frazzled? You’re not alone. Daily pressures can send cortisol, the body’s stress hormone, into overdrive.
    For women, chronically high cortisol can disrupt sleep, worsen PMS symptoms, and even contribute to weight gain. But don’t despair! Here are 5 science-backed strategies to keep your cortisol levels in check and your well-being soaring:
    Power Down for Power Up

    Sleep is the ultimate stress soother. Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night. Create a relaxing bedtime routine, including winding down electronics at least an hour before bed.
    Why it Works: According to a study published in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, just one night of short sleep can significantly elevate cortisol levels.
    Breathe Deeply, De-Stress Completely

    Deep breathing activates the relaxation response, a natural antidote to cortisol’s fight-or-flight effects. Practice belly breathing for just 5 minutes daily. Inhale slowly through your nose, feeling your belly expand. Exhale slowly through pursed lips.
    Science Says So: A review published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology highlights the effectiveness of deep breathing in reducing cortisol levels and promoting relaxation.
    Nourish Your Body, Tame Your Stress

    A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains provides sustained energy and minimizes blood sugar fluctuations that can trigger cortisol spikes. Limit processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive caffeine, which can worsen anxiety and stress.
    Move It or Lose It (the Stress, That Is!)

    Exercise is a potent stress reliever. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week. Physical activity helps burn off stress hormones and promotes the production of feel-good endorphins.
    The Science of Sweat: A meta-analysis published in the journal Sports Medicine concluded that regular exercise is an effective strategy for reducing cortisol levels and improving stress management.
    Connect and Be Kind

    Social connection is a powerful buffer against stress. Nurture relationships with loved ones, engage in activities you enjoy, and consider volunteering. Acts of kindness boost both your mood and the well-being of others, creating a positive feedback loop.
    By incorporating these tips into your daily routine, you can effectively manage your cortisol levels and cultivate a calmer, healthier you. Remember, consistency is key. Be patient, celebrate your progress, and enjoy the journey to a more balanced and stress-free life!
    – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram
    Images: Unsplash, Pexel & feature image: @xun1020 More

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    Get A Full-Body Workout In Just 15 Minutes With Only 2 Household Items

    Looking to squeeze in a workout but feeling like you’re running low on time? We know the feeling all too well. Meet Angelique van den Linde – Fitfluencer, Legallyfit trainer, lawyer and mom of two. She’s got the ultimate routine for those jam-packed days. In just 15 minutes, she’s about to whip you into shape using nothing more than an office chair and a resistant band (heck, even tights could do the trick!). Yup, no need for fancy equipment and marathon gym sessions – with Angelique’s knack for transforming everyday items into workout tools, you’ll feel like you just stepped out of a gym class without ever leaving home (or the office for that matter).

    Equipment: Chair and resistant band/tightsTime: 15 Minutes

    How It Works

    Start with a warm-up which consists of butt kicks, hamstring curls, toe taps, mountain climbers and a few stretches to get you going for the full workout. Trainer tip: remember to keep those knees soft throughout the workout. The routine consists of 3 different workouts of 3 sets each.

    [embedded content]

    Resistance Band Workout  

    3 Sets | 10 Reps Each

    Bicep Curls 

    To start, stand with knees slightly bent, feet staggered, right foot forward and flat on the floor, left back (heel high), with the middle of a resistance band looped underneath the arch of right foot, hands grasping it by the ends and arms at sides. Bend elbows, bringing hands up in front of shoulders slowly and with control. (Upper arm and wrist should stay still; only forearm should move.) Pause, and lower down slowly all the way to the bottom.

    Tip: if it’s too easy, the band is too light or too long, make it a bit shorter to really feel the burn. 

    Lateral Raise Into Tricep Kickback

    To start, stand with knees slightly bent, feet staggered, right foot forward and flat on the floor, left back (heel high), with the middle of a resistance band looped underneath the arch of right foot, hands grasping it by the ends, and arms at sides. Raise arms outward to the sides until parallel to the floor. From here, take your arms back and pulse upwards, engage core and straighten elbows so hands push back until arms are fully extended behind body. Try and get your arms as high as possible. 

    READ MORE: This 10-Move Resistance Band Arm Workout Is No Joke

    Chair Workout 

    3 Sets | 10 Reps Each

    Chair Runs 

    Place a chair in front of you and position your hands on the chair in a mountain climber position, with your body in a straight line and avoiding arching your back. Drive your knees up toward your chest in a running motion while maintaining a steady pace according to your fitness level.

    Tip: Ensure the chair remains stationary; if it moves, readjust your body position to maintain stability. 

    Chair Jumps

    With a chair in front of you, place both hands on the chair and perform consecutive jumps in and out, maintaining a consistent rhythm. Focus on landing softly to reduce impact on your joints while maximising muscle engagement.

    Narrow Squat

    Start with your feet hip-distance apart and hold onto the chair. Lower your body into a squat position while keeping your chest upright and knees aligned with your toes. Focus on engaging your leg muscles as you lower and rise back up to the starting position.

    Wide Leg Squat 

    Begin by placing one foot on the chair and stepping to the side with a wide step. Slowly lower your body into a squat position, ensuring your knees are aligned with your toes. Touch the floor and hold briefly before lifting your heel to engage your calf muscles. Alternate sides.

    Cardio Workout 

    3 Sets | 10 Reps Each

    Mountain Climbers

    Assume a pushup position with your arms completely straight. Lift your right foot off the floor and slowly raise right knee toward your elbow, lower and then raise your left knee to your elbow. That’s one rep.

    Burpees

    Start in a standing position, squat down and place your hands on the floor. Jump your feet back into a plank position, perform a pushup, jump your feet forward toward your hands. Finally, jump into the air with your arms raised overhead.

    Squat Jumps 

    Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower into a squat position, then explosively jump upward while extending your arms overhead. Land softly back into the squat position and immediately transition into the next repetition. Focus on maintaining proper form and control throughout the movement. That’s one rep.  More

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    How to reduce your cortisol? 5 ways women can manage the stress hormones

    Lifeby Ruman Baig3 hours ago Feeling frazzled? You’re not alone. Daily pressures can send cortisol, the body’s stress hormone, into overdrive.For women, chronically high cortisol can disrupt sleep, worsen PMS symptoms, and even contribute to weight gain. But don’t despair! Here are 5 science-backed strategies to keep your cortisol levels in check and your well-being soaring:Power Down for Power UpSleep is the ultimate stress soother. Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night. Create a relaxing bedtime routine, including winding down electronics at least an hour before bed.Why it Works: According to a study published in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, just one night of short sleep can significantly elevate cortisol levels.Breathe Deeply, De-Stress CompletelyDeep breathing activates the relaxation response, a natural antidote to cortisol’s fight-or-flight effects. Practice belly breathing for just 5 minutes daily. Inhale slowly through your nose, feeling your belly expand. Exhale slowly through pursed lips.Science Says So: A review published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology highlights the effectiveness of deep breathing in reducing cortisol levels and promoting relaxation.Nourish Your Body, Tame Your StressA balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains provides sustained energy and minimizes blood sugar fluctuations that can trigger cortisol spikes. Limit processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive caffeine, which can worsen anxiety and stress.Move It or Lose It (the Stress, That Is!)Exercise is a potent stress reliever. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week. Physical activity helps burn off stress hormones and promotes the production of feel-good endorphins.The Science of Sweat: A meta-analysis published in the journal Sports Medicine concluded that regular exercise is an effective strategy for reducing cortisol levels and improving stress management.Connect and Be KindSocial connection is a powerful buffer against stress. Nurture relationships with loved ones, engage in activities you enjoy, and consider volunteering. Acts of kindness boost both your mood and the well-being of others, creating a positive feedback loop.By incorporating these tips into your daily routine, you can effectively manage your cortisol levels and cultivate a calmer, healthier you. Remember, consistency is key. Be patient, celebrate your progress, and enjoy the journey to a more balanced and stress-free life!– For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and InstagramImages: Unsplash, Pexel & feature image: @xun1020 More