Women & Diabetes – World Diabetes Day 2017

November is Not the Time to Give Up your Fitness Goal, It’s Time to Step Up. In fact, this 14th November, the world observes the World Diabetes Day and the theme this year is Women & Diabetes – our right to a healthy future.

It was found that people in South East Asia develop type 2 diabetes at a lower BMI level than those of European origin. High sugar and saturated fatty intake and inadequate consumption of dietary contribute to it.

World Diabetes Day 2017

World Diabetes Day 2017

Main causes of diabetes for type 2 diabetes:

  • Excess body fat
  • Physical inactivity, overweight and obesity
  • Higher waist circumference and higher body mass index (BMI)

Women, especially mothers play an important part in preventing diabetes. What can we do to prevent it?

  • Inculcate healthy and balanced eating habits from early age.
  • Promote breast-feeding
  • Discourage the consumption of unhealthy foods, such as sweetened drinks.
  • Provide conducive and supportive environments for physical activity.
  • Maintain a healthy BMI level.  A healthy BMI score is between 20 and 25

Let’s do our part to keep diabetes away from ourselves and families. Eat healthy and keep an active lifestyle! Spread the awareness.

Sources : Global Report on Diabetes, World Health Organisation

3 Simplified Tips for Self-Defense

With the ladies who floated like butterflies but stung like bees

Self-defense skills is an asset that all ladies should have, yet hope to never use. However, danger can lurk in any corner and women must be prepared. Having self-defense skills does not guarantee that you will be unhurt or unscathed in an attack, however it can increase your chance of surviving. Besides having the right skills, learning self-defense can boost your confidence level, improve your fitness level in a fight-or-flight situation (if you need to outrun your attacker), and makes you more coordinated when fighting back.

Self-defense does not have to be complicated. You don’t need a black belt to try to save yourself. Here are 3 simplified tips I learnt from today’s class at Hammerfist Fight Club, in Cyberjaya:

  • Punch with the correct technique

The knuckles on your second and middle finger is the hardest. Use that to punch instead of focusing on the whole fist.

You can also use the base of your palms to jab the upper body like the throat. The bottom part of your palms just before your wrist is actually stronger than your fist.

The tips of your fingers are powerful too. Use it to poke the eyes using all 4 finger tips. Aim for only one eye, and this is enough to distract your attacker.

Elbows are strong and sharp tools too. Keep it close to your side when punching to block kicks or attacks from the side that can harm the ribs and chest.

Getting as close to your attacker as possible to deliver the most powerful punch

  • Find weak points on the body.

They are:

Eyes, throat, the middle of the chest, stomach, groin, mid thighs, knees, shins, ankles.

These points are most vulnerable as it can inflict the most amount of pain to the attacker. So aim for these body parts when attacked.

Here is a brief video that contains information on how to use these weak points, but with slight variation from what we learnt today:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsjXVGhDuFU

  • Act swiftly

When facing an attacker, a split second can make a difference. Hesitation gives a window for the attacker to make his next move. Plus, acting swiftly gives the impression that you are confident and not a vulnerable victim.

I hope that these tips are useful for women when they are forced to face an attacker. For a full list of skills, it is best to enroll in a martial arts class where a certified instructor can help to polish your techniques.

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4 Techniques to Free Yourself

For more info on Kick Boxing, you can read Sarah’s experience here

 

Know your Heart ❤ when you Run your Heart ❤ Out

Running uses the highest muscle group, and your heart gets to work a lot. Running does change your heart as the heart is a muscular organ. As you exercise, your heart gets stronger – supposedly, but how do you ensure that what you do is not too much for your heart?

Off late, as a leisure runner, I check my  heart rates religiously while running. I would like to run faster, do not want to under-train, do not want to over-train either. Over-training can cause body injuries, and the heart is one of them.

I ran the half marathon at the Fire Fighter Cyberjaya Night Half Marathon 2017 and learned more about my heart. The first 11km run was good –  I managed to maintain a good speed and the heart rate was under 7mins/km and 150bpm respectively, but after the 12km, my speed slowly dropped and went downhill 19km onwards. I had to take it slow as my heart rate was high – above 170bpm at 19km. Although there are many articles brushing off the Heart Rate Training, I don’t think running in high heart rate is good either.

My Heart Rate Information for 21km . It went high after 19 km and I had to slow down

I finished at 2:34:58 net time, my new personal best, 12th for my category and 32nd overall women 21km. I was happy to finish with no injuries but the high heart rate was a concern to me.

1. So, that brings me to the question on what is a good heart rate while running?

  • First, know your Resting Heart Rate(RHR). The best time to measure is after you get of bed in the morning. The average RHR for an adult is within 60-100 beats per min (bpm). It is said the RHR is lower for athletes ranging from 40-60. bpm. Higher reading just means your heart works harder to circulate blood in your body. So, lower RHR indicates a better health.
  • Second, know your Max Heart Rate (MHR) which is 220 – age. Try not to work out your heart too hard so avoid running beyond your MHR.
  • Third, know the heart rate range for different types of run
    • Easy or Recovery Running – 55%-65% of MHR
    • Aerobic Running (marathon race pace)  – when your body has sufficient oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide and water : 75%-80% of MHR
    • Anaerobic  Running – when your run without enough oxygen. This is when your body produces not only carbon dioxide and water, but also lactate : 80%-87% of MHR
    • There are VO2 Max and Red Zone – I would not cover this as a leisure runner. Dive into this when you want to improve speed or want to be the elite runner or an athlete.
      More info at http://www.meet-your-running-goals.com/heart-rate-training-zone.html

2. What is a good heart rate to run?

Other than the above guidelines based on types of run, you can follow the guideline by heart.org – by age, as copied below :

Age Target HR Zone 50-85% Average Maximum Heart Rate, 100%
20 years 100-170 beats per minute 200 beats per minute
30 years 95-162 beats per minute 190 beats per minute
35 years 93-157 beats per minute 185 beats per minute
40 years 90-153 beats per minute 180 beats per minute
45 years 88-149 beats per minute 175 beats per minute
50 years 85-145 beats per minute 170 beats per minute
55 years 83-140 beats per minute 165 beats per minute
60 years 80-136 beats per minute 160 beats per minute
65 years 78-132 beats per minute 155 beats per minute
70 years 75-128 beats per minute 150 beats per minute

3. What can affect your heart rate while running?

  • lack of sleep
  • stress and fatigue
  • dehyration

Make sure you get enough sleep, rest and hydrate well days before you run.

4. Warning signs you must not ignore while and after a run that can relate to your heart

  • chest pain
  • dizziness

If you experience any of the above, see a doctor. Although there are not many casualties pertaining to heart diseases or heart attacks at running events, but little things that have small effects on the heart like scaring tissue can hurt your heart in long run.

I use the Garmin Forerunner 235 to track my heart rate while running

You can measure your heart rate the conventional way – by counting your pulse on your wrist within 30 secs and multiply by two. Or you can invest and use tools or apps that help you track your heart rate when you run. It can help you improve performance.

There are many mixed opinion about Heart Rate Training and the risks involved, so it is hard to know what is right for yourself. Therefore, listen to your heart when you run.

Run your heart ❤ out but do make your heart ❤ happy! Cheers.

Run Your Heart Out

Weight Loss – Muscles vs Fat Mass

If you are trying to lose weight and you are not sure about what to exercise for, cardio or muscles, then this video is for you.
This quick video will help you determine how much cardio and how much strength training your body needs according to your body type. It gives a quick insight into what you should do to help your body with the weight loss process.

Good luck,
Nura

Weight Loss – Points to Consider

Weigh loss can be difficult if we don’t understand why we need to lose weight. It can also be confusing if we don’t know how.
But before you jump into any plans to lose weight, you need to keep in mind that weight loss is permanent.

Headstand Nura Arabi

Think about your goals

Here are some points that you need to consider before starting your weight loss plan.

  1. Get out of the Ideal weight/look mentality: Be realistic. Genetics play a big role into how we lose/gain weight and how we look.
  2. Assess why you need to lose weight: Is it for health issue or just to follow trends?
  3. Commitment: Don’t break the promises you make with your body. Losing and gaining weight again and again can cause more harm than good.
  4. Dieting stress: Are you able to handle dieting? Are you going to follow random diets? Never follow diets that are based on one food group or takes out an important food group out of your meal. Always be supervised by a professional.
  5. Make slow and steady plans
  6. Assess diet / exercise needs

Here is a video for you that further explains the mentioned points. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Cheers,
Nura xoxo

 

Nura Arabi – Nashata Ambassador

Strong yet sweet is who Nura Arabi is. A Canadian of Palestinian/Greek descent who resides in Abu Dhabi, Nura is full of positive energy inside out. This girl has broken many stereotypes. I first met Nura in 2016 when she came to Malaysia for a short visit tail end of Ramadhan. At that point, I admired her bravery for travelling alone from one country to another.

Nura Arabi finds Malaysia just like home.

We met again in Dubai early this year and she gave my daughter and I the best hospitality ever. My daughter will not forget the Camel Cookies she got us and I, on the other hand will never forget healthy meals and freshly-hand-squeezed orange juice she prepared for us while we were in Abu Dhabi.

FITNESS ++

To many, fitness is not just about building strength and ability to do headstands and push ups, but also eating healthy. But for Nura, it is beyond those. Her interest is rooted in research and development. She wants to help people to be better and that is aligned with what we do at Nashata – to empower women to have active lifestyle. A physical education (PE) teacher by profession, Nura instills the importance of discovery and growth as on-going process and she encourages students to see research activities central to daily life. At work, Nura teaches young children PE and swimming and every morning, she gives health tips for kids on Breakfast Club Show,  Pearl FM Radio 102.00, in UAE.

The Strength Within

SHE CARES & SHE SHARES

Strong and progressive, Nura cares a lot about building a healthy nation. She shares her views on how this can be achieved on newspaper, social media sites and podcasts. Her hard work and contribution in health promotion field was recognized and she was named as a Game Changer in GCC in the health promotion field. Hardworking and committed, Nura offers a lot of tips and knowledge to all.

Nurturing & Knowledgeable

Nurturing & Knowledgeable

SHE IS KNOWLEDGEABLE 

Teaching is in Nura’s blood. Her parents were teachers and her mother has been pivotal in her career and interest in fitness and education. After receiving her Masters in Education from Canada, Nura continues to read a lot and conduct researches pertaining to fitness and health.

You will never get tired of Nura.  Now, at 27, she is full of energy and has many fresh ideas. At dinner before she departed to Abu Dhabi, she told me about two things about keeping fit; Having the Knowledge and Willpower. Two of which you don’t hear much from others.

NURA – BREAKING STEREOTYPES

“I have heard about Nashata a while back but was a little skeptical (I have problems with online shopping) But when I checked everything in person, I fell in love. The material is light, breathable and will last you long. The black shirt I am wearing holds up to lulu lemon quality and can cross to a swim wear. ? The best part is the hijab. Fits like a glove around the head, the length stops at the neck ( doesn’t crumble under clothes) and very very light. You can literally take it anywhere and you can fit it in one of those coins purses”, says Nura on her Instagram/_ichallenger/

There will be more takeaways from energetic Nura, InsyaAllah, as she will be sharing her tips here at Nashata ! ?

The Color Run Malaysia 2017

Are you a fan of colors? If you are, then I hope you managed to attend The Color Run last Sunday (13 August) at Padang Merbok, Kuala Lumpur.

If you’ve never heard of The Color Run, it’s a run where fist-full of colors would be thrown at you throughout the whole 5 kilometres. It first began in Phoenix, Arizona five years ago and slowly expanded across the globe.

The race kit was collected at eCurve, Mutiara Damansara the week before. Needless to say, they were pretty cool. The white t-shirt was a soft cotton fabric, unlike most of the other t-shirts I own. There were a few other things too, including a goodie bag and a headband with the words “THE COLOR RUN” printed in bright yellow.

Race kit – a white t-shirt for colors to be thrown at and a goodie bag containing facial products, sticker tattoos, and a headband.

On the event day, I got up at 5:40 a.m. and made my way (with my uncle) to the designated location. The sky was still dark, and the roads were exceptionally empty. Without the usual heavy traffic present during the day, it took a short 30 minutes to get there.

Upon arriving the field (Padang Merbok means Merbok Field, so the event was set up on a field), we were astonished to see the wave of people in identical white t-shirts. There were at least 500 people warming up, lead by the event hosts who were already onstage with two unicorns dancing about.

Took a bite of a giant doughnut before the run.

After a few stretches here and there, we were lead into a pathway towards the starting line like a massive herd of sheep plus we were all wearing white, so we were all human sheep. There were at least three drones flying high up above our heads, recording the whole thing.

Participants were released in waves, each one starting off with a sprinkle of color over their heads. We were the lucky enough to be at the second wave, which started a little after 7:15 a.m. Participants who started later had to run under the eight to nine o’clock sun.

It was a cool and lovely run, thanks to the ample shade the tall trees provided for us. It was like running in a forest. At first, we thought there would be color stations every kilometre, which should add up to five stations. To our surprise, the distance between the first station and the second was less than a kilometre, probably as short as 500 metres.

The first station threw yellow, green, and purple at us. I was lucky my aunt advised us to bring a scarf or a cloth to cover our faces while running through the stations beforehand. The colors were made of powder, in which the event crew threw fist-full of colored powder at us. Since they were made of powder, it caused irritation to the eyes and the mouth. There were a few times where we ran past families, their young children complaining of the powder in their eyes or their color powdered shoes.

After running blindly through stations of blue, orange, neon green, and red, we reached the finish line at 8:30 a.m., our clothes and hair stained with color. At the finishing line, we were given a packet of colored powder each, including a bottle of water and a can of energy drink.

Thoroughly stained with color.

Nashata Sweatpants splattered with paint.

My uncle’s red mane after the run.

Overall, it was a fantastic event. Though it wasn’t your typical run-and-go marathon, it was definitely a fun run. Not recommended for children 10 and below because they may not be able to handle the irritation. If you’re in Rhode Island or Portland (and many more places in the United States and around the world), you still have a chance to participate in the fun. Who knows, maybe you’ll join the run next year.

– Nukey

Bad hair and skin habits that active hijabis should avoid

This is a special post, dedicated to all my active ladies yet still dress modestly doing all sorts of activity that they enjoy. We need to take special care of our hair and skin, even though it is not exposed to pollutants, dirt, and UV rays. However, all of these key points relates to cleanliness, and it is applicable to non-hijabis as well. After all, cleanliness is next to Godliness – something that everyone should strive for.

Are you guilty of doing these while or after working out?

1.Wearing make upwashing-face-skin-shower-1

Why is this a bad habit?

  • Make up hinders your skin from breathing properly while working out.
  • Make up and sweat is a bad combination as this will clog the pores, leading to break outs and acnes.
  • Side note: melting make up that runs down your face when you are sweating isn’t very pleasant to look at either.

2. Wearing your gym clothes all day after working outP1020670

Why is this a bad habit?

  • The most simple and direct answer: cleanliness.
  • The damp and sweaty surface of your work out clothes is a breeding ground for bacteria, plus the combination from the natural oils on your skin that is secreted out while working out will lead to body odour.
  • Although Nashata’s hijabs are light, breatheable, and evaporates sweat faster than normal hijabs, it is adviseable to change after you’re done working out.

3. Leaving your hair damp after showering

41tUL6GlQKL._SY450_

Why is this a bad habit?

  • Just like point no. 2 above, damp areas will become a breeding ground for bacteria, and this creates an unpleasant odour.
  • Covering your damp hair will affect your scalp, leading to problems such as dandruff, itchy and oily scalp. In the long run, hair becomes brittle and will easily fall off.

4. Touching your face without clean hands

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Why is this a bad habit?

  • Some surfaces might not be as clean as it appears to be, such as railings and even our phones. Imagine touching that sweaty bench at the gym with your hands then putting it on your face!
  • The bacteria and germs on your hands will transfer to your face, and this can also trigger acne and break outs

5. Dehydration

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Why is this a bad habit?

  • Water is lost through sweat and heat while working out.
  • Not drinking enough water after working out will leave the skin and lips dry, leading to a very dull and tired skin appearance.
  • Exposure to UV rays and indoor gyms with air conditioning will dry out the skin. After washing your face, do not forget to moisturize.

All pictures are courtesy of google images.

City Spin & Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2017

Diversity is beautiful – everyone is unique, yet we should celebrate the difference. Due to it’s immense popularity, history, and significance, SCKLM 2017 is one of the highlights for most runners. Never have I ever seen a running event which brings thousands of people from various background, fitness level, and goals! The beauty of diversity among runners was highlighted and deeply appreciated both before and during the event.

Before The Big Day

My running group, Kyserun Krew, organized a friendly, fun run called City Spin 2017. It was a short 4.5K run around KLCC and Jalan Ampang, giving runners a quick tour of KL and what to anticipate for tomorrow’s event. Everyone had a good time, taking photos of the iconic buildings and landmarks in the city. Thankfully, the morning rain was starting to subside so the weather was good too!

IMG_9391IMG_9392 IMG_9390

Besides shaking out the butterflies in your stomach before the big day and to stretch out those legs, the main aim of this event was to gather various running crews through out Malaysia, as well as welcome those who came from abroad such as Indonesia, Korea, and other countries. After all, what better way to break the ice among runners other than to run? Every running crew might have different principles and culture, yet united by the same, common love for running.

IMG_9389 IMG_9388 IMG_9387
All photo credit belongs to Syahiran of Kyserun Krew. Thank you!

On the Big Day

At 4 in the morning, I found myself catching the train among a sea of blue sleeveless tops. I was glad that I will be able to arrive early and not worry about parking at the event venue. On the train, I can hear different conversations; some were really serious yet confident, discussing about their strategies and training for the past few months, while others were nervous, excited, or sleepy. Yet, everyone had a single goal in mind: To complete SCKLM, in whatever distance that they chose.

Never have I ever seen so many runners congregate in a single location, except at SCKLM events! Besides runners, the crowd was overwhelming; the streets were packed with not only runners, but supporters, curious on-lookers, and security enforcers too. SCKLM has turned into an event that should be celebrated and inclusive to everyone. To overcome the massive crowd, take advantage of the facilities that the organizer have provided for this event, such as the free train service (my favorite part of the event), bag drop (pack everything that you need, it’s going to be a loooong day), and freebies from the sponsors. Most importantly, come early and prepared, at least 45 mins before your starting to time so you are not rushed to go to the bag drop counter, do your pre-race rituals, and get into the correct starting pen.

Year after year, SCKLM has been a good and memorable experience for me. What I love most about it was not the route or the medal, but the high spirit and energy through out the event. Every runner will feel like a winner! Without a doubt, I will definitely be back again for more next year.

A familiar face that requires no introduction

A familiar face that requires no introduction

One with my Krew!

One with my Krew!

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Thanks to Nashata’s Iman Hijab range, you can now match your hijab with your bib number too!

Read about last year’s SCKLM 2016 experience here

Until next week,

The Weekend Runner

Taking Care of Your Health as a Student

There are two kinds of people who graduate high school: the ones who tear up, and the ones who whoop for joy. Typically, majority of students would be excited to break free from their parents’ clutches, and live their life in college. With no parent supervision and lenient school rules, college freshmen are free do what they like. This newfound freedom includes freedom of activity, spending, and of course, eating. From partying with friends to binge-eating potato chips while watching TV shows till late hours, college life can generally be labeled as unhealthy.

Now, we all have been in that situation where we wanted a scoop from that colorful-looking ice cream truck but our parents didn’t allow it. Well guess what? Now you can eat all the ice cream you want. Throwing a pizza party at 3 a.m., having a sushi fest at the nearest Japanese restaurant, challenging your friends on who can stuff the most dumplings into their mouths like Po the Panda, it’s all possible.

It’s common for college students to go ahead with their shenanigans at night since classes are usually held during the day (or if they decided to be nocturnal animals and sleep the whole day). Therefore, more food is consumed at night when they should be eaten during the day, resulting to hormone imbalances in the body. For those who stay up late at night completing assignments and only manage to catch three to four hours of sleep, grumpiness would be your new common trait. In addition to that, due to sleep deprivation, you would eat more. Of course, when we’re in a bad mood and terribly grumpy, healthy and nutritional food is out of the question. Instead, you would turn to junk food, or any unhealthy food for that matter.

But what about after that?

As we all know, overconsumption of food would leave us feeling bloated, tired, and sleepy. Since most of your time is spent on going to classes, studying, hanging out with friends, and eating, when do you have time to burn off all those calories you stuffed into your body? Eventually, you would notice that your favourite shirt feels a little tighter, you can’t seem to fit in your jeans anymore, and- Is that a double chin?

Soon enough, people who enter college as skinny sticks come home for semester break as plump pumpkins. You would dread going to family gatherings because you know that one of your aunts would most definitely pinch your cheeks and say: “My, look how fat you’ve become!” Going out with old friends might be a problem because you’re self-conscious of your body image and afraid that they might comment on it. Younger siblings and cousins would start hugging you because you’ve become a walking marshmallow. Really, how could you let this happen?

To prevent this and stay the healthy beauty that you are, here’s what you can do to avoid Fairy Godmother (A.K.A. food) from turning you into a pumpkin:

  1. Drink lots of water

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Constantly hydrate yourself. Don’t worry if you keep going to the toilet, flushing out all the waste in your body is more important. When you feel like grabbing a snack, drink a glass of water. This way, you would feel full and think twice about that snack you were planning to eat.

  1. Reduce sweet / high in calorie drinks

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Stay away from sodas or any of those chocolate ice cream milkshakes you usually have at your favourite cafe. When buying drinks other than good ol’ water, check the packaging of the drink to see how many calories it contains. If it is a drink served at a restaurant, try googling the amount of calories it contains. If there is no information on how many calories that drink on the menu is, try deducing what the drink is made of and roughly estimate the number of calories the drink contains from there.

  1. Try cooking

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Classes, assignments, tests, club meetings, events, yes, you’re booked for the week. The same goes to next week. And the week after that. You just don’t have the time to buy meat, vegetables, spices, seasoning, or rice to cook up a decent meal like the countless ones you had when you were living under your parents’ roof. Though turning to restaurants, cheap stores near campus, or takeaways (“tapau”) seem like the fastest and easiest way to fill up your hungry belly, it is certainly not good for your health in the long run. According to the University of Sheffield, eating fast food, takeaways, and convenience food are few of the key factors why college students gain weight. What you can try is get some friends and allow each of them (including yourself) to cook something. Then, you and your friends can share the homemade food together without emptying your wallet to buy all the items needed to cook a whole meal all by yourself.

  1. Exercise

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With academics and social life taking over, exercise is the last thing on our minds. Judging on how much a college student eats per day, exercise is crucial to at least maintain their weight. If getting out of that comfortable chair of yours is the hardest thing you would have to ever do in your life, invite some friends to exercise with you. Like studying, your exercise buddy should be someone who would push you and advise you throughout your workout. So, that certain couch potato you might have thought of inviting is probably not be the best idea. Exercising for at least half an hour, three times a day, should be enough to prevent you from gaining a big belly. For those whose college or university provide facilities such as basketball courts, swimming pools, squash courts, gyms, or ample space for a good run, please do take advantage of them.

Well, so far, this is what you can do to prevent weight gain during your college / university life. Hopefully, this helped you to be inspired and healthy.

– Nukey