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Author: Ivana Smith

athletes and eating disorders

Eating Disorders In Athletes: Are Women More Prone?

Becoming an athlete is a great choice to build a person’s self-esteem, promote physical health, and increase social relationships. However, do you know that there is a dark side to being an athlete? This article will discuss how various competitions and activities could lead to eating disorders in athletes.

The occurrence of Eating Disorder in Athletes

When we talk about athleticism, we often emphasize the physical aspect of it. From having an exceptional body tone to maintaining an ideal weight, there is nothing else that we can imagine of how an athlete looks like.

kinds of eating concerns

However, being an athlete also has its downside. Other than staying in tip-top shape, an athlete must also struggle with other factors. To make it more specific, an athlete focuses on winning the competition. The mindset of winning during competitive athletic competitions can create a severe problem.

The pressures to become a winner can take a toll not only on the athlete’s physical health but also on their psychological condition. Athletes will develop a habit of keeping up with their competitors and zone out on social standards.

Eating Disorders in Athletes: Gender Distribution

Eating disorders are common among women. In several studies, female athletes tend to show more consciousness about their body image than male athletes. Some women athletes develop an unhealthy obsession with diet, food, and weight. This habit leads to common eating disorders such as:

Anorexia Nervosa

A person with this eating disorder has an excessive fear of gaining weight. They follow a severe calorie restriction on their diet, which causes extreme thinness. They find a distorted body image to be ideal than the normal one.

Bulimia Nervosa

A bulimic athlete has a habit of eating excessive and large amounts of food for a time but will eventually follow it with purging. Purging includes self-induced vomiting, the use of laxatives, and other ways to get the food out of their body.

Binge-eating Disorder

A binge-eating disorder becomes common to athletes when they find themselves in stressful situations. They lose control over their eating habits and eat large amounts of food. A feeling of extreme guilt often follows this habit.

What is the Female Athlete Triad?

women athlete eating concerns

The female athlete triad includes amenorrhea, osteoporosis, and eating disorders. Women athletes who happen to have eating disorders tend to lack nutritional value. When a woman takes in less than the recommended daily nutrition intake, she is prone to develop an imbalance of hormones. This hormonal imbalance leads to an abnormality in her menstrual cycle.

The female athlete may have frequent periods or a complete cessation of her menstruation, also known as amenorrhea. If a person has an irregular menstrual cycle, it can significantly lower calcium levels and bone loss. This condition will put the female athlete at a greater risk of having stress fractures.

Conditions that relate to the female athlete triad are a severe medical concern. These conditions can lead to life-threatening risks that are difficult to treat.

Who Can Have the Female Athlete Triad?

Even though all female athletes can develop this triad, adolescent women are at the most risk. Teenage girls are more prone to experience this condition because they still have active biological development and experience rapid body growth. Women in their adolescent years tend to deal with social acceptance, peer pressure, and other lifestyle concerns that may affect their diet and overall health.  

Coping with Eating Disorders

The key to coping with an eating disorder lies within self-love and acceptance. If you experience these eating disorders or happen to know someone who has one, it is essential to know your value regardless of your physical appearance. Here are some tips that you can help prevent eating disorders in athletes:

dealing with eating disorders
  • Encourage healthy techniques that can help improve their performance.
  • Work on balancing physical strength and building the right mental attitude.
  • Look for a coach that could provide you with a positive influence on your body and appearance.
  • Have enough motivation and enthusiasm that could shield you against peer pressure and stress.
  • Develop an ideal plan that focuses on health and fitness.
  • Understanding the way how your body works. Learn the metabolism process and natural ways that could help you maintain your weight.
  • Talk to a mental health provider in case of mental health concerns.

Sources

(How Eating Disorders Develop in Athletes., November 2020).
https://www.verywellfit.com/eating-disorders-in-athletes-3119164

(The struggle is real: Life of an athlete., August 2017).
https://www.dailycal.org/2017/08/31/struggles-of-being-an-athlete/

(Why do athletes struggle with eating disorders?, November 2018).
https://www.magnolia-creek.com/eating-disorder-recovery-blog/why-do-athletes-struggle-with-eating-disorders/

college students eating habits

Dealing With Eating Disorders In College Students

In early adulthood years, the weight-obsessed culture can be quite tricky. Eating disorders in college students are mostly caused by the impression that skinny bodies are ideal. This concept of not belonging to the existing norms can lead to feeling inadequate and eventually distort their bodies’ perception. The main types of eating disorders are anorexia and bulimia and have been increasing in recent years.

Body Image, Eating Disorders, and Mental Health

Eating disorder is a mental health concern, and the increasing number of people who continue to experience it can be alarming. Multiple behaviours that we can associate with eating disorders can potentially endanger one’s physical health and psychological well-being. Persistent thoughts of having a negative body image can lead some to believe that they should feel awkward, ashamed, and embarrassed about themselves. For some, they continue to convince themselves that they are not attractive and will never be. 

Through their eating habits, they manipulate and condition themselves to impart a distorted form of positive reinforcement. Thus, it is necessary for anyone who lives with an eating disorder to receive care from medical professionals. 

A multi-disciplinary team consisting of a dietician, a therapist, a medical doctor, and a prescriber working all together can provide you with the best support. Since an eating disorder is a complex mental health condition, particular interventions can help you stabilise both psychological and medical aspects.

Different Types of Eating Disorders

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia Nervosa is a form of an eating disorder that can be life-threatening. When one has anorexia nervosa, they manifest an exceedingly low body mass index with intense fears of gaining weight. They have a distorted perception of a healthy body image in which they feel the need to suppress their appetite. College students who have this eating disorder limit their food intake often at an alarming level. However, there are also some cases in anorexia nervosa wherein one will eat normally but eventually experience the urge to induce vomiting and purging after meals. Others also take laxatives and supplements or perform intense exercises in a conscious attempt to lose what they see as excess weight.

Bulimia Nervosa  

teen with eating concerns

A person experiencing bulimia nervosa has the habit of binge eating and purging afterwards. Unlike anorexia, bulimia nervosa involves consuming tremendous amounts of food over a short period. After some time, they secretly go through an episode of getting rid of the food they eat by purging.

Some popular purging methods done by college students involve sticking their fingers on their throat to induce vomiting, excessively exercising, or the use of laxatives.  

Overeating and Binge Eating

Not all eating disorders are about losing weight. In recent studies, the most common eating disorders in college students involve tending to overeat, and binge eat. Individuals who experience excessive eating have the compulsion to devour everything and lose their sense of control over their consumption. College students are prone to this disorder for several reasons, including academic stress, growing pains, and negative emotions. They find comfort in indulging themselves with abnormally abundant amounts of food with the likelihood of being insatiable.

Even though overeating and binge eating fall into the same category, a small detail differentiates one from the other. We can characterise binge eating disorder by noticing episodes where one eats without control that could last at least once a week for over three months. On the other side, overeating is much less extreme and occurs less frequently. Regardless of their differences in frequency and duration, both can still cause adverse effects on an individual’s health.

While it is customary to enjoy food, particularly on special occasions, eating more than the usual can become problematic if done frequently. Excessive eating leads to unwanted weight and obesity, which can cause serious health issues if not addressed immediately.

Other Types of Eating Disorders

Aside from the above, more types of eating disorders still need recognition from various medical and mental health organisations. College students are more likely to experience some of these conditions, including the following:

Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified and Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders (EDNOS and OSFED) – these conditions involve individuals with distressing issues and symptoms around food who still don’t fit into a specific eating disorder.

  • Orthorexia- an unhealthy obsession for eating healthy and being particularly fixated with food quality.
  • Muscle Dysmorphia- this condition most commonly affects males who have obsessive behaviour towards muscle building and extreme diets. Bigorexia is a more popular term for this condition.  
  • Diabulimia- college students who have type 1 diabetes withhold insulin and inject less than what is in their prescription to lose weight quickly.

Helping Students with Eating Disorders

Looking at eating disorders other than being a mental health condition is essential. With the high demands and pressures of college life, many factors can add up and contribute to these concerns’ development.

treatment for eating disorders

At this point, colleges should be well-trained and equipped to address and handle the increasing concern for eating disorders adequately. During their time at the university, students must be able to rely on counsellors as they are the only support system available at the campus. However, going to counselling centres can become a matter of embarrassment, which plays a significant role in identifying students’ struggles.

Aside from eliminating various factors that might cause trouble to students’ well-being, college campuses must be the avenue that will help put an end to mental health’s social norms.

Various organisations continue to find ways that will encourage everyone to seek mental help and counselling as needed. Making a positive shift to students’ mental outlook will not only change the way they see themselves but also help with their emotional struggles.

If the university cannot find a good counselling programme for its students for some reasons, reaching out to other local organisations and resources is necessary. With enough attention and treatment, we can help students be on their way towards a healthy mental and physical healing.

Sources

(Eating Disorders: Ending Unhealthy Standards of Beauty., April 2016).
https://medcenterblog.uvmhealth.org/mens-health/eating-disorders-ending-unhealthy-standards-of-beauty/

(What Are Eating Disorders?, January 2017).
https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/eating-disorders/what-are-eating-disorders

(Purging Disorder: What Is It?, February 2019).
https://www.healthline.com/health/eating-disorders/purging-disorder

(Binge-eating disorder, May 2018).
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/binge-eating-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20353627

eating disorders and body image

The Relationship Between Eating Disorders And Body Image

How do you perceive a perfect body? What is a positive body image? If someone asked you to describe your ideal body size and shape, what would it look like? What made you come up with that depiction? And what would you do to achieve the perfect body you are aiming for? These questions can trigger stress in people who have eating disorders and body image problems.

In fact, anorexia incidents among female teens continue to skyrocket in many parts of the globe. Depression, anxiety attacks, and other psychological issues also haunt people with eating disorders and body image concerns. But still, some people may wonder about their correlation.

Let this article show you the unfortunate connection between our eating disorders and body image issues so we can address them constructively. Let us find ways to break the cycle and maintain a positive body image. Allow us to show you how you can look and appreciate your body image without resorting to eating disorders.

How Body Image Issues Start

How does a perfect body look like? People will always have different perspectives on a positive body image when answering that question. In truth, one can easily describe the ideal body that they would want to have. But what we noticed is that their description is a clear indication of what they would wish to change in their bodies. Chubby and cute adolescent girls would want to have petite figures; skinny guys wish to have a buffed-up physique as if having a bulky build is one full meal away. 

For instance, one woman mentioned that she admires ladies with trimmed waist, full bosoms, and long legs. While saying this, we noticed her covering her love handles and getting even shorter when she stooped down, feeling self-conscious. This may start her wrong realizations, like resorting to eating disorders.

Body image: Front and Center

The way you see and recognize your physical traits is your body image. If your identification and familiarity with your size, shape, and appearance mirror how others look at you, then you have a healthy body image. However, if you struggle to see yourself the way others describe you, this can affect how you relate your insecurities and reality.

From the time you began to appreciate your reflection when you look in the mirror during your childhood, you are actually beginning to form your own body image. The way you dress, stand, walk, and make your body gestures suggests how you would want to look, not just for yourself but also for others around you.

As you grow up, several factors trigger your body image perception. People’s criticism, social media influence, and comparison to other people’s judgment in beauty distort your idea of how your body looks like. More often than not, the thoughts that you have — your many if only, I-wish’s, would-be, and should-be — would depict your insecurities and the drastic changes you would want your body to have so you can see yourself as beautiful.

Negative Body Image

eating disorders negative body image

Dissatisfied with how you look? Adolescent girls would want to lose weight and look like the models they see in magazines and TV ads. It comes to a point where their desperation leads them to hate themselves and not wanting to look at their images in the mirror. Several studies justify this action. Doctors and researchers find out that more and more males and females develop a negative body image of themselves, the more they get access and exposure to current events, social media, and critics.

Eating Disorders: The Wrong Perception of a Solution

When you see yourself as big and flabby, what is the first solution that you have in mind? I bet it would be that you promise not to eat the whole day. Don’t worry; many people think this way, but it does not mean it’s right.

If your weight is one of the things you think of as your flaw, you may develop the incorrect mindset that starving yourself is the best solution. As you struggle to lose weight, your mind or the destructive criticisms of people around you or on social media blur your mind, leading you to develop a negative body image associated with eating disorders.

Eating Disorders: Sorting the Classification

Several eating disorders made headlines as more and more people, adolescent girls, start to develop these, leading to negative body image and serious health conditions, even death. What eating disorder can we associate with body image issues?

Anorexia Nervosa

A well-known eating disorder that celebrities have when skinny models get the most attention. Patients with anorexia nervosa pay close attention to their weight, thinking of themselves as fat. The solution they have in mind is to skip meals so they would not gain weight until starvation becomes a habit they cannot overcome.

Anorexia leads to becoming underweight, having a weak and sickly physique, brittle hair and nails, as well as several developing hearts, brain, or multi-organ issues.

Bulimia Nervosa

If you have anorexia nervosa, you do not want to eat. But with this eating disorder, you tend to eat large amounts of food until you feel sickly full. Somehow, their brains tell them that they cannot stop eating, or they need to eat to mask the frustration of not being thin.

After eating nonstop, patients with bulimia nervosa forces themselves to eliminate what they consumed. They would either fast the next day, take laxatives, force themselves to vomit or exercise excessively until they remove the guilt of eating a lot.

Bulimia causes a lot of digestive conditions, like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), gastritis, throat inflammation and pain, salivary gland infection, tooth decay and staining, dehydration, and hormonal imbalances.

Binge-Eating Disorder

In the US, this may be the reason why so many Americans are now considered obese—eating your heart out? Exactly. Individuals who suffer from this eating disorder guiltlessly consume large amounts of food in a day. Every day.

People with binge eating disorder do not control their calories, and they do not feel guilty after every ‘food fest’. But, the truth is, once they realized the harmful effects of their actions, they begin to feel ashamed and disgusted. However, they do nothing about it. In fact, they would still lose control of their food intake the next day, forgetting about their remorse the other day.

Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder

eating disorders affect body image

Sounds new? Well, the term Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) sounds new, but it’s from an established eating disorder. Patients like body-conscious adolescent girls with ARFID, as the name of the condition implies, avoid and restrict themselves from eating.

Unlike anorexia, where the patient wants to eat but starves herself, ARFID patients abhor food all in all. They detest social dinners and would make excuses to pass up on the invitation. As a result, they lose weight, have poor or low growth, and develop health and nutritional problems.

Other Eating Disorders

Do not get us wrong; we know for a fact that there are so many more eating disorders that we did not mention, like pica (eating inedible things), rumination (voluntary reflux), and night eating syndrome, among others. We specifically left them out because we need to concentrate on the eating disorders associated with one’s body image issues.

Eating Disorders and Body Image

How a person sees himself is a reflection of his body image. Suppose you negatively look at yourself, or you fail to see the good in what others appreciate in your body. In that case, you’re definitely a candidate for having a body image problem, typically called body dysmorphic disorder (BDD).

What do eating disorders and BDD patients have in common? Their obsession with their looks. How they weigh, their shape and size, affect their mood and their appreciation of themselves. When they feel that they do not look good enough, their self-esteem and self-confidence get affected, hurting their interpersonal relationships in the process. Some would isolate themselves and give in to their eating disorders until they feel good. On the other hand, weaker patients tend to succumb to their disappointment and begin developing depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideations.

How to Address Eating Disorders and Body Image Concerns

The first step in finding a solution to turn a negative body image into a positive one is acceptance of the patient that she has a problem and that her actions are unhealthy and inappropriate. Adolescent girls need guidance from their parents and guardians, so their perception of a positive body image becomes clear.

Experts recommend counseling and reiterating the importance of having a positive body image and outlook as part of their intervention. A psychological evaluation may help to determine what thoughts trigger their eating abnormalities. They should know what makes them tick, to put it lightly.

With this evaluation, the practitioner can deduce the triggers you encounter. He can then help you find ways to handle them healthily and instill knowledge and understanding of how you should think and act when you encounter such a factor.

What complicates a condition is if a body image concerns combine with an eating disorder. For instance, women who starve themselves are anorexic (fearful of gaining weight) and have BDD (they are already slender but see themselves as overweight). Your therapist may need to customize a treatment plan specifically for your condition, as combing two or three different approaches may be too much and too confusing.

In dealing with body image issues and your nutritional concerns that eating disorders caused, the most important weapon is the strength and love we get from our social circle. Your family and close loved ones should act as your support system because their guidance profoundly affects your outlook in life. Surround yourself with the people who sincerely love and appreciate you.

Sources:

(Eating Disorders. Feb 2018).

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/eating-disorders/symptoms-causes/syc-20353603

(Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Eating Disorders. December 2020.)

https://www.verywellmind.com/body-dysmorphic-disorder-eating-disorders-1138186

(Eating Disorders. February 2016).

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/eating-disorders/index.shtml

(Body Image Distortion. July 2020).

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK546582/

(Eating disorders (young people). October 2018).

https://healthtalk.org/eating-disorders/the-body-and-body-image

woman covering her mouth

Foods That Cause Bad Breath: How They Make Your Breath Stink

Have you ever been told that your breath smells awful? Maybe you are not aware but bad breath could be due to several causes. One of the main reasons is probably your love for foods that can cause bad breath. MacquarieDental.com.au states that breath odor can be prevented with proper oral health care and regular dental visits.

Foods Causing Bad Breath

Bad breath can be very frustrating. It has a lot of negative effects not only on how you present yourself to other people but it also prevents you from speaking confidently. Eventually, when the condition got worse, it can even affect your mental health and relationships.

It can be quite exasperating when despite your maximum efforts to maintain your oral health, halitosis or bad breath still persists. Before you lose hope, know that there are certain foods that can significantly cause bad breath. After contacting a dental team in Marsden for advice, we compiled the list below for you to see if the foods that might lead to unpleasant breath:

female checking the smell of her breath
  1. Protein. People who eat protein foods excessively often suffer from bad breath. According to dentists, the odor occurs because protein has a certain smell (like cat pee) that escapes through the mouth after it has been digested.
  2. Citrus fruits. Although citrus fruits do not specifically cause bad breath, their effect on your mouth basically invites bacteria to stay in. Bacteria are very much into acidic environments making citrus fruits an open invitation for odor-causing bacteria to feast in your mouth.
  3. Pasta. Pasta, particularly red sauce pasta can start acid build-up in your mouth and eventually cause bad breath. When eating foods like this, be sure to keep a glass of water beside you so you can easily wash away the odor.
  4. Fish from a can. Compared to fresh fishes, canned fish like tuna and salmon can produce a very strong odor when eaten. But what’s great about it is that it won’t cause permanent bad breath and can usually be washed off with drinks.
  5. Dairy products. Certain foods in the dairy products group contain several amino acids that can cause a reaction when introduced to the bacteria residing in the mouth. When amino acids and bacteria are combined, hydrogen sulfide takes place and bad breath follows.
  6. Peanut butter. If you are an avid fan of peanut butter, you already know how sticky this food is. Due to its sticky consistency, it’s hard to instantly remove and wash it away. Peanut butter residue can even stay in some areas of your mouth for quite some time. These particles cause bad breath when not thoroughly cleaned.
  7. Garlic and onions. The most popular foods that cause bad breath are definitely garlic and onions. These two exhibits strong and powerful taste and odor and are usually part of the recipe of so many different dishes.
  8. Coffee. Your bad breath could be due to your ultimate love for coffee. This hot drink is often the most important part of most people’s morning routine. But apparently, this beverage can also cause bad breath because of its drying effect in the mouth. A dry mouth hinders the production of saliva which gives the odor-causing bacteria the freedom to form and linger.
  9. Horseradish. The strong smell of horseradish is its natural defense against animals. One of the main reasons why horseradish is used in many dressings and sauces is because of its distinct flavor and smell. Unfortunately, since its odor is so strong, consuming it can give your breath a foul odor.
  10. Alcohol. Obviously, almost all alcohol has a smell that not everybody likes. Like coffee, alcohol can also cause dry mouth and allow bacteria to grow in which gives you bad breath.

Foods That Fight Off Bad Breath

Maintaining your oral health is the best way to prevent halitosis. Brushing your teeth regularly, using a mouth rinse, flossing, and regular dental appointments as the Evergreen Dental team advises, will complete a good dental hygiene regimen. But did you know that certain foods are also helpful in keeping your breath fresh? The foods listed below are effective in fighting off bacteria that cause bad breath:

female drinking
  • Water. This beverage is the healthiest and best beverage that our body could greatly benefit from. Water keeps us healthy and hydrated as it rinses away toxins and bacteria from our body.
  • Yogurt. Most yogurt that you can buy these days contains probiotics that are very effective in fighting bacteria. Eating yogurt two to three times a week can reduce the foul odor in your breath.
  • Cherries. Research shows that cherries have the ability to eliminate the foul odor of methyl mercaptan, a gas that causes intense halitosis which can usually be found in some foods.
  • Crunchy fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables like apples, celery, and carrots promote good saliva production and keep your mouth moisturized. It’s also a bonus that they are high in fiber which also acts as a natural toothbrush. Remember the saying about apples? “An apple day keeps the doctor away” can also be rephrased as “An apple a day keeps the bad breath away” as it contains triple power to prevent halitosis.
  • Herbs. Basil and parsley contain a natural chemical called polyphenols which is an effective remedy for bad breath.
  • Ginger. Even though ginger does not taste good, it’s a healthy and natural solution against bad breath. Use it as a mouth rinse by combining sliced ginger with water and lemon.
  • Green tea. Aside from its many health benefits, green tea can also fight off bacteria with its natural antioxidants.

You can also prevent bad breath by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Eating foods that can cause bad breath may be bad enough but it could get worse when combined with excessive alcohol consumption and smoking. You may also opt to make adjustments in your diet as it might contain certain foods that give you bad breath. If you are wearing dentures, be sure to keep them clean all the time and store them in dry and sterilized storage.

strong toned woman

Body Toning Exercises For Females: Stay Lean And Fab All Year Long

Women are very much conscious when it comes to their figure. Unfortunately, due to the demands of modern society, it’s quite hard to find time to complete your workout routine. On the contrary, it’s a good thing that there are plenty of body toning exercises for females that they can do anywhere, anytime. Toning exercises might sound easy but these activities can have a huge impact on weight loss goals and building strength. Visit this reseller’s online store and get equipment to tone your body.

Weight Loss and Body Toning

woman exercising outdoor

Toning your body while losing weight is a step by step process. It takes time and patience to achieve optimal results in the healthiest way possible. This means that women who are aiming to tone their body and lose weight must also incorporate the correct diet and healthy lifestyle into their program. Fitness instructors recommend that females should also add cardio and strength-building exercises with body toning exercises to balance their workout routine. Consulting a physician would also be highly suggested especially if you are suffering from lung and heart problems or any health disorders.

Things to Consider

Who doesn’t want a toned body? Females, in general, are always looking for new ways to slim down, lose weight, and have a more appealing body shape. In order to accomplish your fitness goals, it is important to put some factors into consideration. You see, it’s not all about exercising and eating right. It includes discipline, a healthy lifestyle, and determination.

Before toning your body, it’s important to lose unwanted body fats first. This will make the toning process easier and more achievable. After achieving your desired weight, you’re probably going to look a little less than what you imagined, but that’s okay because your body toning journey is just about to start.

To begin your body toning workout routine, you have to start building muscles with the right combination of exercises. In doing so you have to remember that toning your body should always be incorporated with aerobic exercises, take note that you must be toning your body and getting strong at the same time.

So how exactly are you going to do this? For starters, women need to be more conscious about their food consumption, a balanced diet is always the best option to go to rather than starving yourself. You will be needing complete nutrients to perform high-intensity workouts correctly. Furthermore, you can schedule your routines alternately, do some aerobic activities like cycling and strength training exercises simultaneously. There are plenty of exercises that you can do at home, but going to the gym for some weights is still recommended.

Tips In Achieving A Toned Body

Before we proceed to the most effective body toning exercises, let us first discuss some of the things that might be helpful for you. To kick start your fitness journey, here are a few tips that hopefully can benefit you:

  • Don’t be shy and eat up more fruits and vegetables instead of unhealthy junk foods. This should not come as a surprise since fruits and vegetables are commonly known as natural sources of nutrients without fat. These foods are easier to digest and can you tone up quickly.
  • Add lean proteins, healthy fat, and whole grains to your diet. In order for your body toning routines to be effective, you need to supply your body with the right nutrients. Protein plays a vital role in building muscles and making them lean.
  • Go above your limits and try different combinations of exercises. While it’s nice to know which kind of exercise actually works well on your body, it would still be better if you will try other body toning exercises, who knows, you might get better results by experimenting.
  • Detox by drinking plenty of water. You may drink protein shakes or take supplements but nothing beats water. It is a natural healer that flushes toxins away in the most natural way. Plus it keeps you hydrated!
  • Don’t forget to rest. Some people tend to overwork themselves because they want to see results right away, but honestly speaking, that is not helping. You are only stressing yourself and putting a lot of pressure on your body. Make sure that you still get enough rest and complete sleep.

Simple Body Toning Exercises For Females

To make your body toning workout routine a success you need to involve light weights only, you also need to perform high reps, correct toning exercises, and make sure to target the right areas in your body. Listed below are some of the exercises that females can do to have a toned body:

doing a plank
  • Planking. This may look like a very easy exercise to do but it’s actually one of the hardest to finish. A minute of plank can strengthen your core, arms, glutes, back muscles, hips, land many more.
  • Leg lowers. Using an exercise mat, lie on your back, and extend your legs upward. Make sure to keep them straight, place your arms at your side, and keep your upper body steady. Lower one of your legs for as low as you can, and do the same to the other as you put the other back up to its starting position.
  • Superman exercise. You can do this by lying on your stomach, arms slightly bent on each side and palms placed just above the head. Prepare yourself and engage your core, chest, and glutes as you lift your legs, arms, and head off the ground. Hold for a few seconds and go back to the starting position.
  • Glute bridge. Start by lying on the floor, bend your knees, keep your feet flat on the floor and arms on each side of your body. when your ready, engage your abs and squeeze your glutes as you lift your hips upward. Maintain a straight body and hold the position for a few seconds before going back to your starting position.
  • Lunges. This is a very famous strength training exercise that targets multiple parts of the body. Lunges can strengthen your back, legs, and hips while promoting balance and stability.

The toning process usually needs at least 2 months for the results to become visible. How you execute the exercises and how often you do your workout routine will definitely contribute to the final outputs.

eating disorder hotline

How Important is an Eating Disorder Hotline?

Have you felt guilty after eating a lot and binge-eating after a bad day? We sometimes have that urge; we fill our tummies with food when we feel down and disappointed. When it’s an occasional scenario, it can pass as a normal coping mechanism. However, if the binge-eating becomes a habit and it affects your overall health, relationships, and outlook in life, maybe you would want to consider counseling or professional help. There are also those who, instead of eating a lot, would not eat anything because of their fear of gaining weight. What’s worse is that they would stop eating because they want to punish themselves for something that they have done in the past, making this eating disorder a form of repentance or penance for them. And believe me when I say that the number of people who feel this way is continuously increasing.

In fact, the eating disorders statistics show that at least 9% of the world’s population is suffering from a kind of eating disorder. If anything, mental health problems cannot be resolved alone. Having someone to talk to can ease your mind and help you widen your perspective, so knowing if there is an eating disorder hotline available to assist you anytime you need help surely makes a difference.

Eating Disorders: A Brief Background

A person’s weight and physical appearance have been considered factors when establishing one’s mental health, self-esteem, and confidence. If you are on the heavier side, and you notice several flaws in your shape and curves, this may affect how you eat. Some would stay on the constructive side and change their diets to healthy ones, following exercise routines that help shape and strengthen their bodies. Meanwhile, those who succumb to the disappointment that they feel about their bodies would resort to habits that further damage their health, and one of them is eating disorders. Eating disorders can be on either poles or extremes – eating too much or not eating at all.

Bulimia nervosa. This is characterized by eating more than your average amount, then forcing yourself to vomit, take laxatives, or work out excessively to burn the excess calories you got from binge-eating.

Anorexia nervosa. This is the other extreme where you are almost afraid to eat because you feel that even a small amount of food would lead you to gain weight.

eating-disorder-types

Another form of the eating disorder is brought about by the fear of being allergic to particular types of food. This is called the Avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID).

If you feel that you have certain inclinations as to feeling these symptoms or urges, finding someone to talk to who wouldn’t judge you and would only listen somehow helps you have realizations and clarity.

Eating Disorder Hotline: Can It Really Help?

There are so many non-profit organizations that sincerely want to help people with their mental health, including their eating disorders. One of them is the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), an American pioneered group that helps prevent, provide treatment, educate, and advocate against eating disorders. They sponsor National Eating Disorders Week every year, and many who participate in this cause aim to raise social awareness of a health problem that can eventually affect one’s mental health. NEDAwareness Week, as it is internationally called, has an open invitation to volunteer professionals, medical practitioners, advisors, and counselors who would want to extend their helping hand in educating and treating patients who are suffering from this disorder. This occasion is not limited to diagnosed patients; even those who feel that they are on the brink of having eating or mental health problems are welcome to join.

Having a social support system that you can trust and rely on during a dark stage in your life is a huge help and a great stepping stone towards your healing and self-actualization. Knowing an eating disorder hotline that is available to you anytime and anywhere you are is a relief for a person who is always in a constant battle with his demons.

binge-eating-disorder

Not many people will regard eating disorders as a life-threatening condition. But if you think deeply about it, anything that negatively affects your mental health can inadvertently affect how you look at life. Your will to live and your perspective about the beauty of life becomes tainted with sadness, disappointments, and regrets. Not having someone to talk to makes you feel isolated and unwanted. With all these ‘demons’ wrapping your mind, depression develops.

Unfortunately, those who succumb to the grave symptoms of depression take their own lives with the feeling that there is nothing left to live for. And this is where support groups, help hotlines, and counselors enter the picture. If you, a family member, or someone you know is suffering from any form of eating disorder, allow them and yourself to know that there are so many eating disorder hotlines available for them and that they are not alone in this battle.

Eating disorders are not unsolvable problems. All you need is dedication, the will to correct your mindset, and the ability to push towards your goal into having worthwhile and clear mental health.

Simple Calorie Counter: The Key to Weight Loss

Introduction

Monitoring your fitness progress plays an integral part in your overall wellbeing. Weight loss programs can be more effective if you keep track of your daily calorie intake with a simple calorie counter. By having the ability to record your progress, you can make the appropriate adjustments in your training regimen. You can base the pacing of your exercises on the calorie counter results. If you want to keep track of your fitness with the country’s best fitness trackers, please click on the link provided. 

What is a Calorie Counter?

A calorie counter is a piece of fitness accessory which falls under the category of wearable technology. It typically has the same looks and functionality as a fitness watch for its overall design. The calorie counter’s primary function is to help you record your daily calorie intake, which can help you keep track of your current level of fitness. It has the potential to increase the efficacy of your weight loss training program and overall wellbeing. It also has the ability to function as a heart rate monitor. 

Why Use a Calorie Counter?

Using a calorie counter increases the efficiency of your training by providing helpful information about your fitness progress. It can tell you how many calories you burned in a single session. It tells you if you were able to hit your target within a specific period. This ability is ideal for keeping track of your current status real-time. The data gathered from the results can help you compare the calories you burned versus your calorie intake. If you are serious about getting rid of fats and keeping your weight under an ideal level, then we highly recommend using a calorie counter. Not only does it help you with your weight loss goals, but it also provides you with the information to keep your heart rate at an ideal pace.

The Benefits of Wearing a Calorie Counter

Tons of benefits can be achieved by wearing a calorie counter in your daily training. It acts as your fitness coach by providing all the information you need to keep track of your progress. Based on the results, you can either intensify your workout or slow down to a lighter pace. This capability promotes independence by eliminating the need to employ the assistance of a fitness coach. A fitness tracker can also optimise your training safety. It monitors your heart rate and tells you if you’re overexerting your efforts. Below is the summary of the benefits that you can achieve with the help of a calorie counter:

  • Accelerates Weight Loss: The key to an effective weight loss is not only diet and exercise. If you want to increase its’ effectivity, you have to keep track of your calorie intake and heart rate. The most significant factor is that you can train with the right pacing that is good for your heart without compromising your safety. You can also compare the difference between calorie intake against the fats and calories you burn in your daily workout routine. Being able to monitor your progress speeds-up the effects of weight loss in a dramatic fashion.
  • Maximises Exercise Safety: Weight loss is not the only thing to be mindful of while exercising. Keeping track of your heart rate also play a crucial role. Most calorie counters include a heart rate monitor feature that can help you train with maximum safety. It can tell you if your heart is having a hard time keeping up with your pace, or if you’re not hitting the goal. Too much training can lead to multiple adverse health effects, and too little can slow your fitness progress. By using a calorie counter, you will always be on the right track.
  • Smart Watch Capabilities: Technically, a simple calorie counter is a feature of a smartwatch. So, this gives you the advantage of having a multifunctional fitness accessory. It can help you track the distance you’ve travelled; you can use it as a stopwatch, and it is compatible with WIFI and online access. You can download the latest updates to enhance its features and transfer your fitness data records digitally. There are also fitness communities online where you can join as a member. You can compare your training regimen to others and have a friendly competition.

Features to Look for in a Fitness Watch

If you’re serious in your weight loss training, you must learn what to look for in a fitness tracker. By knowing the ideal features to look for, you can maximise your weight loss training program’s efficiency with the right methods. So, here are the considerations to look for in a calorie counter:

  • Brand: Look for a brand like Fitbit® so you can ensure the quality, performance, and durability. The recognised brand often delivers without compromise. If you want to make sure that the calorie counter feature is precise and accurate, purchase only the best brands. 
  • Compatibility with Other Wireless Devices: This feature is significant in terms of data transfer and storage. The fitness tracker should be compatible with a wide range of devices such as Android, IOS, Windows, or Mac. Keeping track of your fitness progress can help you train on the right path by comparing your previous routine results.
  • Sportswatch Capabilities: We’ve already made this feature clear earlier, so, we’ll just briefly explain its benefits. You can enhance your overall experience with these features, whether you’re training for cardio improvement or bodybuilding.
  • Interchangeable Batteries: A calorie counter is active as long as you’re training. Meaning, it stays on and actively monitoring your progress in extended periods. The multi-functionality may drain the batteries faster compared with a regular heart rate monitor. So, it’s important if the batteries can be easily replaced anytime.
  • Water-Resistance: Swimming and other water sports are perfect for weight loss. If you decided to monitor your progress while submerged on water, look for a water-resistant fitness watch. 
  • Adjustable Band or Strap: The band or strap should be adjustable to fit all levels of users. The calorie counter needs to have a perfect fit, especially during training. It should not be uncomfortable at all times. 

Tips to Optimise the Battery Life

  • Adjust the backlight to low level
  • Disable rarely used apps
  • Adjust the alarm sound to mid
  • Disable notifications for rarely used features
  • Activate sleep mode
  • Disconnect from WIFI after use
  • Charge properly

Final Thoughts

Weight loss is not easily achieved overnight. It takes time, effort, and discipline to achieve visible results. It’s also difficult to train blindly; meaning, working out without knowing your fitness progress. That’s where the calorie counter comes in. By using this fitness accessory, you will have full control over your training pace. It lets you adjust to the right approach anytime. So, if you want to switch to a healthier lifestyle by starting with weight loss, then train with a calorie counter so that you can reach your goals with maximum efficiency. 

Exercise to Lose Belly Fat in a Week: Tips and Recommendations

Everyone wants to have the perfect abs for different reasons. Some individuals engage in physical activities to have a well-sculpted physique, while others are in it for weight loss health benefits. There are many ways to burn calories and fats, including exercises and the right eating habits. A combination of these two important factors plays a significant role in an individual’s overall fitness progress. This article will tackle the simplest but effective techniques on how to exercise to burn belly fat in a week. We will also talk about the best pre-workouts that can accelerate the efficiency of the process. To learn more about the fantastic fat-burning food supplements, please go to bestfatburner.com.au, and choose the right type for you.

The Most Efficient Exercises to Burn Belly Fat in One Week

The first thing that comes into mind when talking about weight loss is taxing the exercise techniques. Thinking about the methods and all the physical activities involved can shake your motivation and lead to disinterest in keeping up with the tasks ahead. However, most people don’t realise that the simplest forms of exercises can help reduce their weight and cut the excessive belly fats that they developed over years of abdominal inactivity. With the right type of fat-burning food supplements, that can effectively enhance the weight loss process in no time at all. You can even stay fit with a fun activity at home; click here to learn more!

So, here are the exercises that you can try safely at home, without going to commercial gyms and fitness centres:

The Burpees Technique

Burpees targets your core, as well as your shoulders, lats, triceps, quads, and chest muscles. The movements involved can also give your heart an excellent exercise. 

How to Perform Burpees:

  • Squat
  • Push your feet back 
  • Push-up
  • Return to squat position
  • Stand and jump 
  • Extend your arms up
  • Repeat

The Mountain Climbers Technique

Mountain climbers is a technique that also works your core to an optimum level like the burpees. It also activates multiple muscles like your arms and legs effectively. 

How to Perform Mountain Climbers:

  • Start with a push-up position with both arms extended
  • Draw one knee up to your chest
  • Slightly lift your hips 
  • Alternate each knee
  • Repeat

The Turkish Get-Up Technique

This exercise technique is a two-hundred-year-old method that never fails to meet the expectations. It is best used with a kettlebell or a dumbbell. The method stimulates multiple muscles in the body.

How to Perform Turkish Get-Up:

  • Lie flat on your back
  • Extend your left arm sideways on the floor
  • Raise your right hand while lifting a kettlebell or dumbbell
  • Bend your right knee
  • Rise slowly with the help of your left arm
  • Keep your position
  • Stand all the way up
  • Repeat the process with your other arm

The Medicine Ball Burpees Technique

The medicine ball burpees are the enhanced version of the regular burpees. If you add the medicine ball in this technique, the efficiency increases to a significant level.

How to Perform the Medicine Ball Burpees:

  • Squat and place both your hands on the medicine ball
  • Push your feet back 
  • Push-up
  • Return to squat position
  • Stand and jump 
  • Extend both your arms up while holding the medicine ball 
  • Repeat

The Sprawl Technique

This exercise method is a modified version of the burpee’s technique. It is ideal for multiple muscle activation.

How to Perform the Sprawl:

  • Stand straight
  • Squat
  • Push your legs back
  • Return to the squat position
  • Jump with both your arms extended
  • Repeat

The Side-to-Side Medicine Ball Slams Technique

This effective exercise method is perfect for your abdominal muscles and other major muscle groups. The entire technique boosts your muscle growth and development that also enhances your metabolism.

How to Perform Side-to-Side Medicine Ball Slams:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-distance apart
  • Lift the medicine ball overhead using both hands
  • Slam the medicine ball sideways to your right
  • Alternate the process 
  • Repeat

The Overhead Medicine Ball-Slam Technique

This exercise method is similar to the side-to-side medicine ball slam but with a slightly different approach. Instead of slamming the balls sideways, you slam it forward. It is perfect for your abdominal muscles. 

How to Perform Overhead Medicine Ball-Slams:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-distance apart
  • Lift the medicine ball overhead using both hands
  • Slam the medicine ball forward 
  • Repeat the process

These exercise techniques are perfect for seven-day weight loss training. As you may have noticed, they do not require bulky exercise equipment. They can be performed anytime at the comfort of your home. With a positive mindset and discipline, you can shed belly fat efficiently in a week.

Fat Burning Food Supplements

Pre-workouts are the best fat burning food supplements that you can consume to increase your training exercises’ efficiency. There are two major types that you can try.

  • Whey Protein: Whey protein is the by-product of dairy products creating milk or cheese. They are perfect for weight loss programs and bodybuilding.
  • Plant-Based Protein: These vegan protein food supplements are the ideal protein source for lactose intolerant individuals. They are also effective in developing muscles and weight management.

The Benefits of Burning Belly Fats

Losing weight is an effective way to keep healthy and resilient against developing chronic diseases. Study says that people with excessive body fats are more susceptible to adverse health conditions. So, weight management plays a significant role in our overall wellness. Here are the benefits:

  • Keeps our heart healthy
  • Boosts our immune system
  • Makes weight loss more manageable
  • Aesthetically impressive
  • Boosts our confidence

Tip: Always have a positive mindset when you commit to a healthier lifestyle. This way of thinking can help you manage stress and boost your motivation to the next level. Always remember that while cosmetic surgery will help to improve your body, combining physical activities and the right diet is the best way to stay fit and healthy.

a man getting ready for a good morning exercise benefits

Health and Fitness: Good Morning Exercise Benefits

Morning exercise has always been an ideal motivator to keep the day on a positive tone. Starting your day with a few stretches and exercise drills not only improves your back strength, but it also gives you a good energy boost. However, you can’t just dive into a morning exercise without the right equipment. You have to utilise the appropriate exercise machines to enhance the overall experience. Two major groups are generally recommended by fitness buffs all over the world. They are the cardio exercise machines and bodybuilding machines and accessories. However, a good morning exercise benefits should not be strenuous and taxing. We recommend a machine that can provide low-impact exercises. One of the best machines to use is the manual treadmill. Not only does it conserve energy, but its also ideal for morning exercises. Try this equipment by clicking on this link.

Ideal Morning Exercise Machines

There are many ways to start your morning exercise drills. However, we recommend starting with light exercises so your muscles can adjust to the proper pacing, so does your heart. We prepared a summary of the best exercise machines that you can try for your morning exercise rituals. These are the most efficient tools that you can use to start your day right:

Manual Treadmills: Let’s define what a manual treadmill is first before we go into the details about the health benefits that it can provide. The manual treadmill is a cardio exercise machine that is typically composed of rollers, a running belt, and optional handles. This machine is ideal for morning exercise because it lets you exercise on your preferred pacing. It doesn’t require electricity to operate and its relatively easy to use. The incline can also be adjusted to specific angles if you want an extra challenge.

Running or walking exercises in the morning are perfect for your heart health. It provides a gradual progression that lets your muscles and heart adapt to the correct rhythm they need for the day. You must start your day with cardio training instead of resistance workouts. Your muscles may not be prepared for the strain from sleep. There is an increased risk of overfatigue and too much muscle stress accumulation if you begin with strength or resistance exercises. 

The recommended interval for treadmill exercises is thirty minutes walking or running. 

Good Morning Exercise Benefits

a woman exercising on a treadmill for a good morning exercise benefits
  • More Focus and Fewer Distractions: Putting the morning exercise on top of your to-do list allows you to train with fewer distractions. It makes your training uninterrupted, making them highly efficient. You can focus more on the right techniques and proper pacing.
  • Comfortable Workout: Exercising with less sun exposure can be beneficial to your health. Too much sun may cause fatigue, or worse, heatstroke.
  • Promotes a Healthier Eating Habit: Getting up early doesn’t give you enough time to eat a heavy meal. Instead, you’re forced to pick the lighter food groups that provide energy. This method is also ideal for people who wish to control their weight.
  • Heightened Alertness: Morning physical activities increases the release of cortisol in your body. Cortisol is responsible for keeping us alert and awake. Study says that your alertness improves your coordination.
  • Boosts your Energy Level: Research says that morning exercise boosts our energy naturally. This ability is ideal to face the day.
  • Improves Concentration and Focus: Scientific research has proven that regular morning exercise enhances your attention, decision-making capability, and visual learning. 
  • Improves Mood: Treadmill exercises help release endorphins in our brain naturally. The effects could last the entire day.
  • Improves Weight Management: Morning exercises have the highest rate of burning fats and calories as the recent studies suggest.
  • Keeps you Satiated Longer: Physical activities in the morning reduces the hunger hormone called ghrelin. When you work out early, you can stay feeling “full” for longer durations.
  • Improves Overall Performance: With the natural release of cortisol and endorphins, your overall athleticism is improved. Click here for more exercises ideas.
  • Controls Blood Sugar Levels: Treadmill workouts improve our body’s natural way to detoxify. Our Lymphatic system flushes toxins together with excessive glucose efficiently.
  • Fights Hypertension: All the benefits stated above lowers the blood pressure effectively. This ability can keep you healthier and stronger.
  • Improved Sleeping Patterns: As your muscle relaxes after your morning exercise, your body adjusts to the right level, making your rest or sleep revitalising. You can also go to Wayne Massage Sydney for a session to help further improve your sleep and recovery.

Conclusion

You may have realised by now that a simple morning exercise can do tons of positive thing to your health. Not only does it activate your muscles and improve your cardio, but it also prepares you to face the whole day with the right amount of energy. What makes good morning exercise benefits special is its unique capability to provide cortisol and endorphin release naturally. When we feel good about what we’re doing, it keeps our drive stronger, and our energy higher. If you want to experience the best method of being physically and mentally fit, then begin your day with a simple morning exercise. For a fun play with your friends visit this site https://www.pingpongtableforsale.com.au.

a girl with obvious belly fat

Types Of Exercise To Reduce Belly Fat For Female At Home

Belly fat is the excess fat that surrounds the organs inside the stomach. Doing exercise to reduce belly fat for female at home is possible. You can check out for the latest gym equipment like the Torsonator to add up in your exercise routines.

They also refer to belly fat as the visceral fat. You can find a visceral fat beneath the muscles of the stomach. Belly fat affects the body and can put a person’s health at significant risk if there is too much of it in the body.

It provides negative impacts on the body organs. It causes the production of excess hormones and chemicals, which means to say that the person is highly at risk of developing diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and colorectal cancer.

With this in mind, a person with too much visceral fat should undergo weight loss programs. They can ask for a trainer’s assistance to choose the right exercise to reduce the visceral fat.

Determining when to reduce belly fat

Based on research studies, a female has a higher more percentage of body fat compared to a male. One way to determine if there is excess belly fat is to conduct measurement at home. Using a measuring tape, measure the bare stomach, directly above the hip bone. Unhealthy waist measurement for women is 35 inches or more, while for men is 40 inches above.

measuring tape in belly fat

If you have the measurements above, it is an indication that you have to reduce belly and undergo weight loss exercises. Since most women are staying at home, let’s discuss some exercises that they can do at home. Buy here your fitness equipment and start your program.

Exercises to reduce belly fat

It is better to start doing exercises to work out the excess visceral fat. It will help prevent higher risks of diseases that too much visceral fat can contribute. There are common and straightforward types of exercises that we listed below.

  1. Lying leg raises: These is well-known as the killer abs exercise. It helps alleviate low back pain and improves the overall stability and strength of the core.
  2. Leg in and out: It builds more muscular abs, increase stability and strength, melts belly fat, and tone your body, particularly the stomach.
  3. Scissor kicks: This exercise works on the core muscles, quads and adductors. Strong core muscles reduce back pain and improve your balance.
  4. Crunches: It is the most popular type of exercise for the abdomen. It tightens the belly and helps the buildup of six-pack abs.
  5. Bicycle crunches: This workout exercise can also increase core strength, targets slimmer waist and improves flexibility and stability as well. Its constant movement increases the heart rate and the number of calories burned.
  6. Sit-ups: it is also one of the well-known basic exercises. Sit-ups provide a lot of benefits to your body.
  7. Jackknife crunches: It directly targets the abdominal muscles, especially the lower stomach. There are several variations of the jackknife crunches that you can use.
  8. Russian twist: This exercise is a great calorie burner, especially if you want to achieve a flat stomach. It will certainly keep you in shape.
  9. Crossbody mountain climbers: This exercise is good at targeting the entire abdominal region. It even improves upper body strength. Additionally, it provides stability in the chest, shoulders, and triceps.
  10. Plank: Observing a good posture in this exercise will help you maintain your bones aligned. Including plank as one of your daily routines will help you strengthen your spine and abdominal muscles.

Other options to reduce or remove belly fat

Aside from exercising, there are other remedies that you can do to reduce or remove your belly fat. We stated a few of them below.

belly fat before and after exercise
  1. It is good to eat plenty of foods containing soluble fiber. This fiber promotes weight loss since it can make you feel full. Therefore, it makes you eat lesser.
  2. Refrain from eating foods that contain trans fats. Aside from contributing to belly fat formation, trans fats are also contributor or inflammation and heart diseases.
  3. Drink alcohol moderately. Too much of this results in gaining belly fat.
  4. Eat foods containing high protein. It is an essential factor for weight management.
  5. Learn how to manage your stress. Excessive production of the stress hormone contributes to the gain of belly fat as well.
  6. Reduce your intake of sugary foods. Aside from belly fats, it also triggers several chronic diseases.
  7. Improve your carb intake. Limit your intake of refined carbs to improve metabolic health and lessen belly fat.
  8. Consider replacing your cooking oil with coconut oil. Coconut oils help boost metabolism and decrease stored fats.

Conclusion

As shown above, it only proves that belly fat results in our actions. Starting from the food we eat, up to the activities we do daily. If we do not take action about it, which includes prevention and reduction, belly fat can lead us to boundless dangers. Get on your treadmill or go out for running, eat healthy and keep fit.