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Looked at myself in the mirror and broke down: Avika Gor on her weight loss journey

Avika Gor looked gorgeous in her post-weight loss pictures, donning a pink and yellow ensemble, which she shared on Instagram

You may not be able to recognise Balika Vadhu actor Avika Gor from her recent pictures that are now doing the rounds on social media. That is because, over the past several months, she revealed that she has shed a lot of kilos.

The 23-year-old actor looked gorgeous in her post-weight loss pictures, donning a pink and yellow striped sari, which she shared on Instagram. She also wrote an inspiring note about her remarkable weight loss journey.

The Sasural Simar Ka actor recalled how she did not like to look at herself — “big arms, legs, a well-earned belly”– in the mirror earlier. “I had let go too much. If it were due to an illness (Thyroid, PCOD, etc), it would be okay because that would be out of my control. But, it happened because I ate anything and everything, and I didn’t work out at all,” she expressed.

Gor struggled with body image issues. She wrote, “Such insecurities run in the head all the time and they make us feel tired and irritated. Hence, I would often snap at my loved ones.”

The actor stressed how we need to respect and treat our bodies well. “Our bodies deserve to be treated well, but I didn’t respect it. I disliked the way I looked so much that I couldn’t even completely enjoy dancing (which I love) without thinking ‘how I must look right now’. I got so busy judging myself and feeling bad that I didn’t leave any scope for outsiders to make me feel bad,” she further wrote.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CG3y-NQgzuz/

 

 

I still remember one night last year, when I looked at myself in the mirror & I broke down. I didn’t like what I saw. Big arms, legs, a well earned belly. I had let go too much. If it were due to an illness(Thyroid,PCOD, etc), it would be okay because that would be out of my control. But, it happened because I ate anything & everything, and I didn’t workout at all. Our bodies deserve to be treated well, but I didn’t respect it. As a result, I disliked the way I looked so much that I couldn’t even completely enjoy dancing (which I love) without thinking “how I must look right now”. I got so busy judging myself & feeling bad that I didn’t leave any scope for outsiders to make me feel bad. Such insecurities run in the head all the time & they make us feel tired & irritated. Hence, I would often snap at my loved ones. Well, one fine day I decided that it was enough, and that I must evolve. Nothing changed overnight. I just started to focus on the right things… things that I should be proud of(like dancing). I kept trying to eat better & working out, and I had various setbacks. But, it was important that I didn’t stop. And my people were constantly there to guide me. Long story short, I looked at myself in the mirror this morning & I didn’t feel the need to look away. I smiled at myself, and told myself that I’m beautiful. And you, the person reading this, you are beautiful as well. We all have a lot to offer & we must actively work on that, rather than feeling sad about what we can’t do. But, we MUST do what’s in our control. Today, I am comfortable in my own skin. Today, I’m peaceful. And I hope you are too? Share your stories of self-love in the comments. Let’s make self-love cool! – Love & Light Avika☀️

A post shared by Avika Gor (@avikagor) on Oct 27, 2020 at 8:17pm PDT

That is then that she decided to start focussing on her health. “I kept trying to eat better and working out, and I had various setbacks. But, it was important that I didn’t stop. And my people were constantly there to guide me.”

Being healthy is all about making choices, said Gor in another Instagram post. “Between a healthy (which can also be tasty) meal and junk food, you can guess what I always chose. I didn’t eat for food, I ate for my mood, and that choice ain’t good…It took constant reminders, forced reflection and a strong support system for me to gradually move out of the wrong choices.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/CG6XLjfgh_P/

 

 

We make the choices & then the choices make us who we are. Like right now, you chose to read this caption, & this choice makes you AWESOME! Although, I must tell you that I didn’t make the best possible choices for a long time & it impacted my life significantly. Where do I start? Vadapav? Oh I love Vadapav! Give me 2 mins, I’ll be back. OK wait. No. “No, Avika! Bad choice!” I mean good choice for taste, but bad for health. 🙁 Why couldn’t Vadapav be healthy for us? Anyway, between a smile & a frown, I used to subconsciously choose the frown all the time. My face only came to normal when things were great, & I rarely smiled! Between a healthy(which can also be tasty) meal & junk food, you can guess what I always chose. I didn’t eat for food, I ate for my mood, and that choice ain’t gooood. (Did you try to rhyme it?)😉 I thought, I anyways don’t look great, what do I have to lose with a few extra french fries. Well, I know what I gained! (Kgs)😑 Between half glass full and half glass empty, I chose to see the emptiness almost everytime. I would marinate in negative emotions for days at times, & not once count my blessings. But it had to change because these choices were making me hollow!!! And it was really hard. ( Not letting go of Vadapavs, letting go of the negative emotions. ) It took constant reminders, forced reflection & a strong support system for me to gradually move out of the wrong choices. I still make the wrong choices, but it’s less frequent & when I do, I quickly try to improve it. After all, it’s a short life, the least we can do is try to get better. 😊 What choices did you make today? What would you like to change about them?

A post shared by Avika Gor (@avikagor) on Oct 28, 2020 at 8:12pm PDT

She added, “I still make the wrong choices, but it’s less frequent and when I do, I quickly try to improve it. After all, it’s a short life, the least we can do is try to get better.”

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These 7 strength building moves will make day-to-day movement much easier

There are certain words used in the fitness world that you might loosely understand at face value but don’t actually mean much to you. Well, unless you’re a qualified PT or have done a shed load of research. Hypertrophy, for example? It’s a more straight forward concept than it sounds. And then there are the many anagrams for different types of sets and reps to get your head around.

One training phrase that continues to pop up at the minute is ‘functional training’, from boutique gyms offering classes based around the idea to personal trainers talking about the importance of the movements. Luckily, this one isn’t that complicated: functional training literally means that it serves a function or a purpose outside of the workout itself. 

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“Functional training is about moving for everyday life,” explains Yasmin Phillips, a personal trainer at Third Space. “It is about learning movement patterns so that the body and the muscles move in synergy.” 

This can help people who have weaknesses or injury that prevent them from doing everyday tasks, such as lifting things off the floor. “We can train the squat and the pull to train the muscles and joints that will support people to move through those motions,” says Yasmin. But it’s also important for those without any strength or mobility issues, too. “Functional training is a nice primer for heavy lifting. If you are somebody that can’t squat very deeply, you need to work through a functional movement pattern first and once you are able to do that correctly, you can then load it. It will get you more effective lifting for heavier lifts,” Yasmin explains. 

Right now, training with a functional purpose is more important than ever. “You’d be surprised how many people can’t do certain movements because they sit at a desk all day long and their low back or hamstrings become really tight. In order to use them, loosen them and keep them strong, they need to move functionally through the body,” says Yasmin. 

There are seven of these functional movement patterns that we need to train to support our everyday movement and our gym workouts. 

The seven functional movement patterns

  • Squat 
  • Lunge
  • Push 
  • Pull
  • Hinge 
  • Twist
  • Walking

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These movement patterns should form part of your daily warm-up or mobility routine, as well as the basis for your workouts. For a beginner, a workout could look like this: 

  • 10-minute walking 
  • Bodyweight squat
  • Reverse lunge with rotation
  • Press-up
  • Lying back raise
  • Bodyweight deadlift 

As you get more advanced, you might want to move through all of those movements to mobilise the joints and muscles before you train. You could then focus on a functional workout split, such as push/pull/lower body (including squats, lunges and hinges) to build strength through these movement patterns. 

“Functional training empowers the body because if you know that it can move through all planes of motion comfortably, you then are more confident to pick up a heavier weight,” Yasmin adds. 

Ultimately, you should plan your functional training around what your body needs to move through life better. And if that doesn’t sound like a workout worth doing, we don’t know what is. 

Follow @StrongWomenUK on Instagram for the latest workouts, delicious recipes and motivation from your favourite fitness experts.

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Jacqueline Fernandez nails Trikonasana effortlessly in latest fitness picture

Heading into the weekend with her exercise routine intact, there seems to be no room for workout procrastinations for Bollywood diva Jacqueline Fernandez. Giving fans a glimpse of her intense workout in effortless style, the Drive actor shared a picture of herself nailing the triangle pose of Yoga or Trikonasana.

Taking to her Instagram handle, Jacky shared a picture featuring her in white and pink spaghetti tops teamed with pink Yoga pants. Pulling back her hair in a no-nonsense ponytail, the diva opted for a no-makeup look as she flaunted her flexible moves.

Standing with her feet one leg-length apart and knees unbent, Jacqueline turned the right foot completely to the outside and the left foot inside while keeping the heels in line with the hips. Extending her torso as far as comfortable to the right, Jacqueline touched the floor by dropping her right hand to the front of the right foot while extending her left arm is vertically.

Keeping the spine parallel to the floor, she turned her head to gaze at the left thumb. Though a slightly complex Yoga asana, Jacqueline looked a natural at it.

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Working out and #WFN – Working from Note ❤️❤️ The two things I love doing these days! Watch this space for more! @samsungindia #GalaxyNote20Ultra 5G (ready) #samsung

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Since Trikonasana involves the whole body, its benefits are immense including treating the neck sprain, stimulating and transporting the blood flow throughout the veins and body hence, reducing any risks of a block or stroke, stimulating the digestive system, improving the flexibility of the spine and correcting the alignment of shoulders. It also relieves gastritis, indigestion, acidity and flatulence while strengthening the ankles and the palms, reducing the piled up stress and anxiety and even reduces discomfort during menstruation.

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How to get more flexible (and why it's so important)

Do you scroll through pictures of high kicks on Instagram, stare in awe at gymnasts slinking into the splits or feel bitter about still not being able to comfortably touch your toes? Us too. While improving flexibility is a great way to score points at a party or a dance class, it’s actually about so much more than just being able putting your legs in impressive positions.

So what exactly is flexibility, other than the ability to contort your body? It’s defined as the ability to bend without breaking, but flexibility in our bodies is actually a passive skill. It’s about stretching to our ‘end range’, or as deep as possible.

“Being flexible is important to support your training, whether that’s yoga or weight lifting. If you can’t get into the positions you need to be in then you compromise the movement,” says Corinne Holt, coach at Lift: The Movement, a fitness space in Shoreditch that is focused on physical health and longevity through producing functional bodies.

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“But we also need to be able to activate when we are in the stretch, aka be mobile, to support the joints,” Corrine adds, which is why it’s so important to train strength, mobility and flexibility together, as the classes as Lift do. 

And flexibility doesn’t just impact how we move during exercise, but also our day-to-day life. A study from the American Journal of Epidemiology showed that poor hamstring and quadricep flexibility is associated with low back pain –  not something to be sniffed at given that 55% of people are experiencing an increase in back pain since working from home, according to the Institute for Employment Studies. 

We know what you’re thinking: you’re past being able to get flexible. But think again. “The good news is that with the correct work and application anybody can achieve these positions. None of it came naturally to me. I’ve worked really hard every day to get where I am,” says Corinne. So don’t be disheartened if on the first attempt you can’t get your foot to your head – consistency is key. 

Corinne recommends training your flexibility alongside mobility and strength, and focusing on full-body moves rather than isolated stretches for a balanced and stretchy body. She’s shared her three favourite moves to practice to get more flexible – remember, stick with it and you will feel the benefit. 

PANCAKE STRETCH

This seated stretch will improve the hamstrings, hips, groin and lower back. Sitting on the floor in a straddle position, reach your arms forward and lean your stomach towards the floor. The goal is to have your chest and head reaching the ground. 

Some simple progressions to help you get there include the standing pancake, where you stand with your feet wide apart and hang forward, trying to get your head in between your legs. 

JEFFERSON CURL 

“A Jefferson Curl is excellent for flexibility of the full posterior chain,” says Corinne. Standing with the feet together, round through the neck, shoulders and upper back as you roll the body down the legs towards the feet, then pull through the hamstrings to stand back up and unroll through the back. 

Eventually, you should be able to do these on a raised surface, holding a light weight, so that you can get more depth to the movement and have more resistance as you lift up. 

BACK BEND

Don’t be scared. This is great to work through the anterior body, or the muscles at the front. Gymnasts may be able to drop back into a bridge from standing using the flexibility of their abs, chest and quads, but there are some simple progressions you can make before that, such as wall bends. 

Lying on your back, lift the hips off the floor so you can into a glute bridge position. Push down into the floor through the arms so that your upper back begins to lower off the floor and you feel the stretch through your chest. To progress, take the arms away from the floor and hold them together under your back. 

Follow @StrongWomenUK on Instagram for the latest workouts, delicious recipes and motivation from your favourite fitness experts.

Images: Getty / Lift: The Movement  

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Malaika Arora shares step-by-step process of her ‘favourite’ Yoga pose, Trikonasana, in fitness move of the week

Making fans amp up their fitness quotient throughout the Covid-19 quarantine, Bollywood dancer Malaika Arora has been challenging fans into trying one Yoga pose every week. The diva was down with coronavirus and had quarantined herself at home for quite a few weeks which brought a temporary halt to her fitness game with fans on social media.

Beginning with her weekly fitness challenge once again after bouncing back from Covid-19, Malaika Arora was seen brushing aside our Monday blues as she nailed her “favourite” Yoga asana, Trikonasana or triangle pose. Giving fans a glimpse of her workout, Malaika shared a picture of herself on her Instagram handle, flaunting her fitness move of the week and we cannot wait to try the same.

Donning a royal blue sports bra, teamed with similar coloured Yoga pants, Malaika pulled back her sleek hair into a high braid so that it does not mess with her workout. Before sharing the step-by-step process of arriving at the flexible position, Malaika engaged with fans by writing, “Hello there! It feels amazing to be starting #malaikasmoveoftheweek again with you all, hope you missed me!!! Today’s asana is one of my favourite asanas for improving overall posture and spine health- Trikonasana (sic).”

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Hello there! It feels amazing to be starting #malaikasmoveoftheweek again with you all, hope you missed me!!! Today's asana is one of my favourite asanas for improving overall posture and spine health- Trikonasana. Do not forget to tag me, @sarvayogastudios #malaikasmoveoftheweek and @thedivayoga when you post! *Stand straight with your feet comfortably apart *Turn your right foot to face outside, with the heel inwards *Both heels should be in a straight line. Inhale, and bend your body from your hip to the right, with your left arm raised straight up *You can rest your right hand on your ankle, shin, or if comfortable, on the mat *Your head can be in line with your torso if you are comfortable, you can gaze up at your left palm. *With every exhale, relax your body a little more You may avoid doing this pose if you are suffering from neck and back injuries, migraine or low/high blood pressure. Pic Credits: @by.the.gram #MondayMotivation #MoveOfTheWeek #FitIndiaMovement #YogaLife #SarvaYoga #DivaYoga #YogaAsana #YogaPoses #Trikonasana

A post shared by Malaika Arora (@malaikaaroraofficial) on

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Hello there! It feels amazing to be starting #malaikasmoveoftheweek again with you all, hope you missed me!!! Today's asana is one of my favourite asanas for improving overall posture and spine health- Trikonasana. Do not forget to tag me, @sarvayogastudios #malaikasmoveoftheweek and @thedivayoga when you post! *Stand straight with your feet comfortably apart *Turn your right foot to face outside, with the heel inwards *Both heels should be in a straight line. Inhale, and bend your body from your hip to the right, with your left arm raised straight up *You can rest your right hand on your ankle, shin, or if comfortable, on the mat *Your head can be in line with your torso if you are comfortable, you can gaze up at your left palm. *With every exhale, relax your body a little more You may avoid doing this pose if you are suffering from neck and back injuries, migraine or low/high blood pressure. Pic Credits: @by.the.gram #MondayMotivation #MoveOfTheWeek #FitIndiaMovement #YogaLife #SarvaYoga #DivaYoga #YogaAsana #YogaPoses #Trikonasana

A post shared by Malaika Arora (@malaikaaroraofficial) on

Method:

Stand straight on a flat even ground with your feet comfortably apart. Turn your right foot to face outside while keeping the heel inwards. Both heels should be in a straight line.

Inhale and bend your body from your hip to the right and raise your left arm straight up. Meanwhile, your right hand can either rest on your ankle or shin or even on the mat if you are comfortable.

Keeping your head in line with your torso, you can gaze up at your left palm if comfortable. With every exhale, Malaika suggested to let the body relax a little more.

The fitness enthusiast warned that this exercise is not for those suffering from neck or back injuries, migraine or low/high blood pressure.

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Masaba Gupta leaves fans motivated for the next grind this weekend with her post workout selfie

Clean eating and not procrastinating workout sessions seem to be on a priority for Indian designer Masaba Gupta and her social media handle is filled with enough pictures to back our claim. Seen giving fans a sneak-peek of her intensive exercise routine, Masaba left the netizens motivated for the next grind this weekend.

Taking to her Instagram handle, Netflix’ Masaba Masaba star shared a selfie after sweating it out during a rigorous workout session. The post-workout picture featured her donning a casual white tee paired with black Yoga pants as she lay there drenched in sweat on the mat after exercise.

The diva’s unmissable glow on her no-makeup face was enough to make fans keep their procrastinations aside and head out to hit the grind this weekend. She captioned the picture, “Dead meat. It’s the weekend. Remember to get moving (sic).”

After making heads turn with her stellar performance in Netflix series Masaba Masaba, the ace designer has only seen her fan base swell on social media. The 31-year-old knows how to keep netizens hooked and recently she was seen sharing health tips with fan on how to make PCOD vanish.

In an interactive QnA session with fans on Instagram, Masaba revealed that her daily 16-hour fast not only makes her feel great but also gives her more energy, more clarity and no acidity apart from making her PCOD “vanish”. Another handy tip from her was, “Lose weight!! It’s the best way! But pls do it in a safe & slow way. Do not get on some crap fad diet especially Keto –it messed my body up. Speak to a nutritionist- eat ghar ka khaana. Workout 6 days a week. Stay happy. Bas (sic).”

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Study Says COVID-19 Symptoms Often Appear in a Certain Order (Though Not Always)

COVID-19 has always been tricky to identify because the symptoms easily overlap with the common cold, flu, and even allergies. Even more confusing? Some people experience no symptoms at all.

To better understand how COVID-19 manifests and progresses, a team of researchers at the University of Southern California attempted to figure out the most common order in which symptoms appear.

Their study, which was recently published in the journal Frontiers in Public Health, analyzed the rates of COVID-19 symptom incidences. They used data collected from the World Health Organization of more than 55,000 novel coronavirus cases in China, as well as a dataset of nearly 1,100 cases collected by the National Health Commission of China.

Based on their findings, the researchers determined that this is the most likely order that someone will experience COVID-19 symptoms:

When they expanded their analysis to include additional symptoms, the order still looked similar:

The researchers also compared the likely progression of COVID-19 symptoms against the flu and found that the flu was more likely to start with a cough instead of a fever. People with the flu were also more likely to have body aches, headache, and a sore throat before developing a fever, they discovered.

In turn, these results “support the notion” that fever should be used to screen people for COVID-19 before they’re allowed into buildings. “Additionally, our findings suggest that good clinical practice should involve recording the order of symptom occurrence in COVID-19 and other diseases,” the authors wrote.

But infectious disease experts say the order of your COVID-19 symptoms doesn’t paint the whole picture.

William Schaffner, M.D., an infectious disease specialist and professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine says the results of this study are “very interesting,” but emphasizes that “it’s not going to be universal. We know, for starters, that a number of people don’t have a fever.”

What’s more, there’s the issue of recall bias, which is when patients have a hard time remembering exactly when something happened. “It’s common with these kind of things,” says Amesh A. Adalja, M.D., senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “You won’t be able to tell people, ‘You have COVID-19 because you had symptoms in this order versus a different order.’”

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