Author Archives: Body and Mind by Muna

Do you need to practice yoga every day?

Question: Do I need to practice yoga every day?

The short answer: No.

The longer answer: No, but …

For some people, making time to practice yoga 45-90 minutes every day is too much. There are plenty of other things you could be doing in that time. Because of that, many find themselves turning to longer practices once or twice a week. Is that wrong? No. Will it give you the maximum results when it comes to gaining flexibility? No.

That’s not to say you won’t get any results from a once-a-week yoga routine. You will. Longer bouts of yoga a couple times a week are a great supplement to other workouts you may be doing. Depending on the style of yoga you are practicing, these practices can also help improve your cardiovascular system (i.e., the efficiency of your heart).

do i need to practice yoga dailyBut what if you could fit in shorter sessions more often throughout the week?

Studies show that doing shorter bouts of yoga daily (10 minutes or so) can improve your overall fitness similar to practicing once or twice a week. In fact, it could improve your flexibility better than doing longer sessions less frequently. Sure, that means you’ll have to schedule time most days of the week to get those benefits, but the time you have to put in each day shortens considerably.

Daily practice vs. weekly practice

So what’s really better: to practice yoga every day or to practice a couple times a week? The answer depends on your lifestyle and your goals.

If your goal is to maintain your current flexibility, supplement other workouts and/or improve your cardiovascular fitness, practicing a couple times a week is a good base. On the other hand, if you want to work on gradually getting more flexible and improving your cardiovascular fitness at the same time, shorter bouts of yoga every day will be more effective than longer sessions.

All that said, there’s no need to go for the all-or-nothing approach. Some stretching and breath practice each week is better than none. If you simply can not fit in two or three longer sessions a week but can put in 10-15 minutes each evening before going to bed, great!

If you want workouts you can do when they best fit your schedule, check out the Body and Mind by Muna online gym!

Fruit Market via wikicommons

Fresh food vs. canned food

Last week, I posted a recipe for vegan corn salad, and I’ve gotten quite a few questions about using fresh ingredients vs. canned ingredients. As a frame of reference, in the recipe, I used only canned food. But would you get more nutritional benefits from using fresh instead of canned? Let’s talk about each one in more depth. Continue reading

corn salad

Vegan recipe: 3-ingredient corn salad

There are times you have a bunch of time to cook your meals. And other times, you just want something fast and easy. This 3-ingredient corn salad is about as simple as it comes. Not only are there three ingredients, there’s no peeling, cleaning or cooking involved. In fact, it takes about 3 minutes to make the entire thing. Intrigued?

If you’re ready to get started, here’s what you need to do.

Ingredients

  • 15.5 oz can no-salt added black beans
  • 15.25 oz can no-salt added corn
  • 15.5 oz can diced tomatoes with seasoning

Directions

  1. corn salad 2Open each of the three cans.
  2. Rinse the beans with water before pouring them into a bowl.
  3. Pour corn and tomatoes into the bowl.
  4. Mix.
  5. Optional: Add seasoning to your preference. (See notes below.)
  6. Eat. Enjoy. Repeat.

A few notes about this corn salad

  • All the cans of food I chose were salt-free. You can, of course, make the same salad with salted versions of each ingredient. My recommendation is if you want your salad a bit more flavorful, purchase the salt-free versions and then add your own salt and spices at home. That way, you are in control of how much or little salt you’d like to add.
  • If you want to add more flavor, there are plenty of ways to do so. While the three base ingredients taste delicious together, make it spicy by adding pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, red chili flakes or chili powder to enhance the taste of the corn salad. Make it sweet by adding basil and/or oregano. Add your own twist by playing around with garlic powder, salt, white pepper or any other herbs and spices you like!
  • You can use fresh ingredients in this salad if you want. Part of the simplicity comes from the fact that there are only three ingredients, and part of it comes from the fact that they are canned ingredients.

Did you try this recipe? If you did, let me know how it tasted. And if you added your own seasoning to it, tell me what you tried!

Exercises you can do anytime, any place

You’ve probably heard people say that they’ve found exercises you can do anytime, anywhere. Planks, squats and pushups usually top the list. But let’s be honest, can you really do them anytime, any place? Are you going to drop down and do a set of pushups while you’re in line at the grocery store? Probably not. Continue reading

tight hips Copyright Body and Mind by Muna

4 of the best poses to relieve tight hips

Not too long ago, I posted about the two major causes of lower back pain. One of the reasons I mentioned is tight hips. When the hips are tight, the back works extra hard to try to keep you balanced. Unfortunately, that leads to back pain. If you consistently stretch your hips, they’ll become loser and more flexible. Your back will thank you for that. Without further ado, here are four poses to help combat tight hips. Continue reading

no-bake protein bars

How much protein do I need?

When you start a new exercise program, you always hear about the importance of protein in your fitness diet. It’s true that protein helps repair stressed and broken muscle fibers in your body, but protein actually does a whole lot more than that. So you might be asking yourself: How much protein do I need? Continue reading

tuck jump Copyright Body and Mind by Muna

Get Moving: Free June Fitness Challenge For Busy People

Ready to get your summer started? Between work, baseball practice, graduation parties, BBQs and more, is there really time to fit in exercise? Yes! Yes there is! This fitness challenge is perfect for people who are just starting out on their fitness journey as well as those who are incredibly busy this time of year. Bonus: It’s completely FREE! Continue reading

lentil by rainer zenz via wikicommons

What is a low-carb diet?

Diet fads come and diet fads go, but the low-carb diet has been around for some time. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to low-carb diets. When taken to extremes, they can be more detrimental to your health than beneficial. Here are some answers to common questions about low-carb diets. Continue reading

six-pack ab training by daveynin via flikr

Intimidated by your first fitness class? Don’t be

Walking into a new gym or fitness class can be intimidating. You worry whether you’ll fit in. You worry if you’re wearing the right clothes. And, especially if you’re out of shape, you’ll worry that everyone is watching and judging you for being there. Here’s the truth of the matter: Everyone is so concerned with themselves that they barely have any time to give you a second glance. Continue reading