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The end of Tet holidays marks the end of the annual festive season. A festive season that is quite a bit longer than in other places, since we more or less go directly from Christmas and International New Year into Vietnamese New Year preparations, without ever fully going back to our normal agenda.

It’s the time of the year to enjoy vacation, relax, spend time with your dearest and indulge in comfort food. A well deserved break from your everyday life that should be enjoyed without regrets or guilt.

BUT, all things have to come to an end, and now it is overdue to go back to normality and our healthy habits.

BE ACTIVE, EAT BETTER, LIVE HEALTHIER ▶️ START NOW!

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We are approaching the peak of this years festive season here in Hanoi. Only a couple of more days until Tet.

The days leading up to Tet always remind me on the days before Christmas back home in Europe. People have so many things to do and prepare, buying trees, hoarding food, meeting with colleagues, friends and family for year end gatherings. It just feels like everybody is constantly on the run, showing in the traffic worsening day after day and making people even more stressed.

So maybe a good moment to talk a bit about the impact workouts and stress can have on each other.

Many people would already have heard that workouts can help to RELEASE STRESS, and it is true. This works via our hormone system which directly influences our mood and well being. Exercising not only stimulates the production of endorphins, but also reduces the level of stress hormones as adrenaline or cortisol.

But unfortunately the other way around stress can also influence the quality of your workouts:

🚨 Under stress you have a higher risk for injuries, as stress increases muscle tension and slowing down recovery

🚨 Stress can negatively affect your concentration, as it is easy to get distracted thinking about other things, so try to stay focused on what you do, remind yourself to forget about your “ballast” as long you are at the gym

🚨 Also because the distraction could as well affect the quality of your workouts and progress, maybe better to go for a workout that is yet challenging but not bringing you fully to your limits

🚨 Weight loss gets harder, as stress hormones are affecting your metabolism and fat storage negatively

As conclusion, keep coming to the gym during the busy season to release some stress, during that time try to think about nothing else than your workout, and don’t worry if you can’t break your personal record that day.

🔎 One more QUICK TIP 🔎
Try to avoid the gym’s rush-hour when you already feeling stressed, waiting in line for your equipment might work contrary.

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My answer to that question is very simple, try to stay active and healthy throughout all your life!

UP TO 30 YEARS “YOUNGER”:
For a long time there has been very little scientific based research on aging and the effect exercising has on aging processes. Only recently a study has been published, focusing for the first time on LIFELONG EXERCISING and its supposed benefits.
The study focused on a group of elderly people that had been active for most of their lives, and it was found that both their cardiovascular fitness and their skeletal muscle was still as strong as other people’s up to 30 YEARS YOUNGER than themselves.

It is commonly known that we get weaker once we age, but the interesting fact is that this loss of muscle and strength is actually a combination of 2 things, aging itself of course, but to an even bigger degree it is caused by a sedentary lifestyle and the lack of using your muscles regularly.

In your 20s your body is a super machine and can cope with almost everything. No workouts, bad eating, not enough sleep, too much alcohol … all no problem. But things start changing after 30, first slowly, so you might not realize it right away. If you carry on with the bad habits you picked up during your 20s, latest in your 40s you will start experiencing the first serious issues, chronic pain in your back or knees, overweight or lack of endurance,… just as a few.

But it does not have to be like that, the earlier fitness and healthy living becomes part of you, the less noticeable aging becomes.
Give it a try, take the first days of the new year as an impulse to get started!

The start of a new year is a perfect time to form NE!W HABITS, no matter if you are thinking about getting more committed to workouts and being physically active, start eating healthier, or basically anything you had in mind for some time to get more serious and persistent about.

The biggest obstacle might seem to be the first step, but being able to stay on track in the long run is presumably even harder. That’s why it is so important to set yourself REASONABLE GOALS.

For example, my resolution for the new year is to provide more info and tips for you guys and to start posting more often again. But I will not set myself the goal to post every 1-2 days, simply because it would not be realistic to stick to it for a longer period. My main aim is to provide information that is relevant and interesting to YOU, and not just random blabla repeated again and again. So I will set myself the goal to post every 1-2 weeks from now on, and will do my best to stay on track.

Please keep me accountable for that 😁
and I would be happy to help YOU stay on track as well.

A great start into 2019 to all of you! 🎆

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Hot summer has come to Hanoi and the sunny weather made the city boiling hot in an instant. Here some tips that can make your workouts during that time more effective and enjoyable.

🌡️ TIMING: try to move your workouts to cooler morning or evening times, try to avoid the heat during lunch times

🌡️ CLOTHES: wear light, airy, light-colored clothes

🌡️ PROTECTION: when training outside use sun screen and wear a hat

🌡️ PRE-COOL: take a cold shower or dip into the pool right before your workout, this will bring down your core temperature to a normal level before getting started and will help to longer keep your performance on a regular level

🌡️ STAY HYDRATED: drink enough water, constantly and throughout the day, and especially during workouts

🌡️ LISTEN TO YOUR BODY: if you start to feel dizzy or too tired better slow down or stop, the heat can have quite some influence on your performance, accept that you might not be able to perform on your highest level those days

Hope this will help, keep up your workouts and enjoy the sunny days, grey skies and rain might come back too soon. 🏊🏼‍♂️⛱️☀️

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 “I want to reduce my belly fat, so I do crunches every day!” 

This or similar statements I still hear quite often talking to people.

Sorry, but it is NOT possible to reduce body fat in a certain area of your body, the so called spot reduction of fat is a myth, besides you are planning to go for a liposuction (NO NO NO). 😳

Most people know that if you want to grow muscle, e. g. your biceps, then you have focus on training that area. But reduction of body fat doesn’t work like that. Body fat can only be reduced overall, best achieved by focusing on your diet and a caloric deficit, as well as focus on a balanced training for your whole body, with a right mix of cardio and strength training.

➡️ Please help to debunk this fitness myth by tagging your friends who might still believe in that myth!

➡️ You know any other big fitness myths, please share them with us so we can help to bust them.

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🎆 A couple of weeks in to 2018, now is a crucial moment to not lose your initial motivation on your new year resolutions. 🕳

A good way staying motivated long term is to make sure you keep progressing and reaching your goals. 📈🏆

But what is a good way to set your goals? In your job you might have come across the term SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound).

Setting goals for your health or any area in your private live should follow the same principles, your goals need to be specific so you can track the progress, and it is important they are set so you can reach them in the desired time frame.

💡So what should be your first steps:💡

🎯 Set your fitness goals – think about a small step that can be realistically achieved in a shorter time frame

📔 Make a plan to achieve them – set a weekly exercise schedule that you can keep consistent week by week

🖎 Keep tracking your progress – with Body Stats and Workout logs

👤 Ask for help of a professional – exercising is a complex matter and it can be very beneficial to get individual tips and tailor-made workout plans