Heena Sidhu may hold a degree in dentistry and express her artistic side through painting and sketching, but the Herbalife-sponsored athlete from India is known throughout the world for her excellence in an entirely different and unique endeavor: pistol shooting.
Shot at Greatness
Highly accomplished in her sport, Sidhu is the current world record holder in the 10 meter air pistol event and was the first Indian pistol shooter to be ranked number one in the world in 2014. Her strong interest in shooting at an early age came as no surprise, as her father was a national level shooter in India and her uncle was a gunsmith. She started out shooting for fun, but as her interest in the sport grew and she progressed, her family helped motivate her to take her interest to the next level. Her uncle, one of her biggest supporters, even helped her to fine-tune her equipment so that she could perform at her very best. Though competitive pistol shooting has not gained widespread popularity yet, according to Sidhu, there are many opportunities for the sport in India. “Shooting is gaining a lot of attention and growing at a good rate here,” she says. “Plus, the consistent achievement of the Indian Shooting Team in both the national and international arena ensures that the sport gets its due recognition. Shooting is also a top priority for the government of India and with many private sponsors funding the training of talented shooters, things are better than ever before.” However, for anyone who thinks they can simply pick up a pistol and master the sport, they better think again.
“There are unique challenges to pistol shooting, from both a physical and mental perspective,” says Sidhu. “Though it may come across as an easy sport – just stand, aim and shoot – being able to hit a small target at a distance of more than 30 feet while under pressure is challenging. Your muscles need to be strong and have the endurance to hold your body and your gun still. You need to be able to find a mental zone in which you can focus and make the shot you need without outside distractions. And you need to do it in repetition.” In need of both physical and mental stamina to perform at her best, Sidhu focuses on full body conditioning when training, with added focus on core and back work, which is critical to her stability. Stretching is also very important to keep her muscles supple. As for the mental aspect, “I work with a sports scientist and we do a lot of breathing exercises, which helps me take in more oxygen and stay calm in stressful situations,” she says. “I also work on being able to multitask, as taking a good shot involves aligning many different elements of the shot simultaneously. Aim, stability, breath, trigger manipulation and much more all need to come together for a great shot.”
Armed with Nutrition
As any athlete competing at the highest level of their sport would, Sidhu pays close attention to what she consumes. “Nutrition is critical to my performance, to get the desired results from working out and to allow my body to recover in time for the rigors of the next day,” she says. So what made her choose Herbalife® products? “I had long been aware of the Herbalife commitment to providing quality nutrition to athletes. Then I got to experience the benefits first hand, in both training and recovery. Also, when traveling, I noticed a big impact on my diet – Herbalife provides me with the macro and micro nutrients I need to stay healthy and energized.” Sidhu takes Herbalife® Formula 1 Healthy Meal Nutritional Shake Mix with an extra scoop of Herbalife® Protein Drink Mix post-workout and as a meal replacement when she’s traveling. She also uses Herbalife® Formula 2 Multivitamin Complex and Herbalife® Afresh Energy Drink Mix (available exclusively in India and similar to Herbalife® N-R-G Nature’s Raw Guarana Tea), the later especially after intense training sessions in hot weather. “My goal with Herbalife is to build and maintain a long-term partnership where we help each other excel in our fields of expertise,” she says. “I want Herbalife to help me be fit so I can compete for longer and I want to give Herbalife my feedback so they can continue to evolve and help top athletes to succeed. Together, we need to educate athletes, as well as society as a whole, on the importance of good nutrition and living a healthy, active life.”
Among Sidhu’s other goals is to constantly try to improve and master her sport. “I enjoy the process of training and improving more than the actual victory,” she says. “I never let my achievements make me complacent. My attitude has helped me to get to where I am today. It’s an attitude that will hopefully allow me to enjoy every moment at the world games in Rio and win multiple medals.”
Heena Sidhu Medal Record (partial)
A strong immune system relies on a healthy diet for support. Here are some nutrition tips to help you keep your immune system in tip-top shape.
When you stop to think about how hard your immune system works for you, it’s nothing short of amazing. It’s an incredibly complex system that works nonstop to protect and defend you – and it’s a system that depends on good nutrition in order to function properly.
We tend to focus on immunity more in the colder months – it seems that colder weather and illness go hand-in-hand. Part of the reason is that when the weather turns chilly, we spend more time indoors – which means we’re in closer contact with more people, and there’s less air circulating – so we’ve got more exposure to the germs that can make us sick.
But that doesn’t mean our immune system isn’t on alert the rest of the year – your built-in defense system works 24/7. In essence, your immune system is your own personal army of ‘soldiers’ that protects your body by identifying anything foreign – from a virus to a bacteria to a parasite – and then seeking it out and destroying it.
And your body does depend on the proper nutrients and a healthy lifestyle to keep your defenses up.
How Nutrition Supports Your Immune System
Your immune system has some ‘special forces’ in the form of white blood cells. These cells produce specialized proteins – called antibodies – that seek out and destroy invading viruses and bacteria. Since antibodies are proteins, you need adequate protein in the diet to ensure you’ll be able to manufacture the antibodies your body needs. Healthy protein foods – like fish, poultry, lean meats, soy foods and lowfat dairy products – provide the building blocks that your body needs to make these specialized proteins.
Fruits and vegetables are key players in immune system health because they are great sources of vitamins A and C, as well as phytonutrients. Vitamin C encourages your body to produce antibodies, and Vitamin A supports the health of your skin and tissues of your digestive tract and respiratory system – all of which act as first lines of defense against foreign invaders. And, many of the phytonutrients found in fruits and veggies act as antioxidants, which can help to reduce oxidative stress on the body which may weaken your body’s ability to fight of illness.
Keeping your digestive system healthy is also important in supporting immune function. Your digestive tract is home to trillions of bacteria that have numerous functions in promoting health. Some strains of bacteria help you digest the fiber in your foods, others consume intestinal gas, while others produce vitamins, like vitamin K and vitamin B12. When your system is populated with these “good” bacteria, they also serve to ‘crowd out’ the potentially harmful bacteria that might enter your digestive tract. Some of the best sources of these friendly bacteria are cultured dairy products – like yogurt and kefir. As you know, whenever you are trying something new, make sure to check with your doctor or other professional about the amount to take that’s right for you.
Some people suffer medical conditions that affect the operation of their immune systems. Diet alone won’t improve the function of a compromised immune system. But for healthy people, eating well can help keep your immune system healthy and strong. And to help your body in the fight against foreign invaders, your internal ‘army’ needs the best nutrition possible. So call in the troops!
Susan Bowerman is Director of Nutrition Training at Herbalife. Susan is a Registered Dietitian and a Board-Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics.
Working out with someone can be a great way to strengthen your relationship with them while you strengthen your body.
I’ve been married for 14 years and have four children, so as you can imagine that finding time for a date night can be almost impossible. I will admit that when we do get away, the temptation of catching up with friends, answering text messages or scrolling through social media at the dinner table is always there. However, during my weekly and once a week hot yoga with my husband, I feel energized and am less likely to check on my phone or worry about my to-do list. I think it’s partly due to the natural release of endorphins that are a bonus of exercise, combined with the excitement that we are maximizing our time together.
Relationships take work, especially when you both have your own and work commitments to tend to. However, when you find the right balance of quality time together, a good relationship can positively impact your overall sense of well-being and improve your self-confidence.
Here are some of top reasons that I believe partner workouts can help strengthen your relationship:
Avoid relationship weight gain.
With today’s busy and demanding lifestyle, it’s often difficult to find quality time to spend with your significant other. Quite often we find ourselves having to choose between taking care of our own personal needs and planning time with our partner. This juggle can cause resentment in the relationship and if it’s your workout that you are skipping, you may even find yourself gaining weight. If your quality time always revolves around eating together, staying on track with your personal health goals may become difficult.
Endorphins work their magic.
Making an effort to exercise with your significant other can strengthen both your relationship and your body. There is something special about sweating in the gym or on a hike together, as it provides quality, constructive time. The natural endorphin pheromones and post-workout glow can make you feel more attracted to each other, too.
Working toward a physical goal together gives you something positive to stay connected about on a weekly basis. When you’re exercising, your technological devices are put away so you can engage in conversation and some friendly competition.
Physical connection and trust.
It can be a very bonding experience to be taught a new skill by your partner. It helps to build trust and the physical connection created from helping each other with pull-ups or spotting with weights can continue long after the workout is over.
When planning your next date, consider doing a fun activity together. One of my favorite sayings is, “Couples who exercise together, stay together.”
Written by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA. Samantha is Sr. Director of Fitness Education at Herbalife.
Elevate your game with #Herbalife24
Everyone needs a little “me” time every once in a while. Here are a few ideas to help you relax and unwind in the comfort of your own home.
Ever had one of those days when life gets to be a bit too much and you long for a bit of R&R? Everyone needs a bit of “me” time once in a while. Maybe you need it after a long day stuck in traffic, or after your child has been home sick from school all week with a nasty cold. Perhaps the laundry has piled up beyond your control or that big presentation you had at work just didn’t go as planned. After a stressful day, the best remedy is always time spent alone. Time utilized to unwind and distress. Time spent taking care of just YOU!
If you’re looking to recharge yourself so you can conquer the world, here a few easy steps that you can take without ever leaving the house:
Take a relaxing bubble bath.
My go-to means for relaxing has always been to take a bubble bath. Add a splash of your favorite bubble bath product, light a few candles, put on some music and just submerge yourself into relaxation. There’s nothing like a good, warm soak to relieve muscle tension, open up your pores and clear your cluttered mind.
Apply a facial mask.
A good facial mask doesn’t have to be done at the spa. You can experience that same, high-quality experience at home. Choose a facial mask that has an inspiring scent, like rosemary or mint. Apply it to your face, allow it to dry and simply wait for the results. I love to apply my mask while relaxing in the tub. There’s something about the steam, the bubbles, the aromatic scents and the ability to just chill that really pulls it all together. Masks containing bentonite clay possess amazing skin toning and absorbing properties. Plus, the feel of that silky, smooth clay against the skin really provides you with an authentic pampering experience.
Scrub away the day.
There are some days when you just want to scrub all of your problems away. Well, why not make it a self-indulgent experience and use an exfoliating scrub that smells great and contains scrubbing particles that slough off dead skin cells? Once you experience how soft and silky your skin feels, you’ll forget about your troubles.
Moisturize from head to toe.
There’s nothing like slathering on a hydrating moisturizer immediately after a good exfoliation or bubble bath. Apply when your skin is still damp to really seal in that much needed moisture. Your skin will look more youthful as a result and it will definitely feel silky and soft to the touch. Take a few extra minutes to relax, enjoy and focus on your toes, feet, legs and arms. A little massaging and some great moisturizer will definitely ease away the stresses of the day.
Find time to do… Whatever!
Everyone has something special that they enjoy doing that helps them relax. It might be a bubble bath, a brisk walk, a quick dip in the pool or many other things. Take some time to flip through your favorite magazine or get started reading that book you’ve been putting off. Whatever you do, take that much needed time to pamper yourself.
Never feel guilty for taking the time to take care of you. A little pampering goes a long way and it’s really beneficial to you and everyone around you, so make it happen!
Written by beauty expert, Jacquie Carter. Jacquie is Director of Outer Nutrition at Herbalife.
Various factors determine how satisfying foods are, and you can use them to help you control your appetite.
What makes a food or a meal filling? You might assume that satisfying your appetite depends – more or less – on how much food you eat. And, that might also explain why so many people feel that in order to keep their appetite in check, they simply have to get used to eating less food.
Don’t get me wrong, portion control is definitely an important factor in controlling your food intake. But there are other factors at play, too. The composition of the food – the amount of fat, carbohydrate and protein it has – determines, in part, how satiating a food is; texture plays a role, too. And even before a food passes your lips or enters your stomach, the sight and smell of food, and any of your past experiences with that food, sends signals to your brain that can influence how much you eat.
Factors that can influence how much you eat:
Anticipating that the food will fill you up. When you are about to eat something, the sight and smell of the food signals the body that nutrients are on the way. These cues, sent from your senses to your brain, prepare your body for the process of digestion and absorption, but something else happens: your brain anticipates that the food is going to satisfy you, too. The influences of your senses of sight and smell really do matter – it’s been shown, for instance, that a bowl of soup is perceived as more filling when it is consumed normally than if the same volume of soup is delivered in a way that bypasses your sensory organs (say, through a tube going directly into the stomach). So, before you take a bite, take a moment to appreciate the color and aroma of your food and remind yourself of how satisfying your meal is going to be.
The satiating power of protein. Protein is more satiating than carbohydrate, which tends to be more satiating than fat. These satiating effects of protein are primarily physiologic (through influences on, among other things, hormones in your digestive tract that signal fullness) but there are sensory influences – the taste and texture of protein-rich foods tend to promote a feeling of fullness, too.
Fiber is filling. Fiber helps with appetite control in a number of ways. First, fiber makes foods more bulky: high-fiber foods, like vegetables and fruits, take up a fair amount of room in your stomach so they fill you up, but at a relatively low calorie cost. Fiber also takes a while to digest, so it slows the rate at which foods leave your stomach. And, soluble fibers (found in foods like apples, barley, beans and oats) thicken up once they hit your stomach – and that can also contribute to a feeling of fullness.
Texture matters, too. In general, liquids that are thick and viscous are perceived as being more filling than watery fluids, even if the calorie counts are the same. This is another example of how the sensory property of a food affects expectations of quenching hunger – thicker liquids tend to signal more nutrients than watery fluids that are more likely associated with quenching your thirst. And there are studies to support this: smoothies that are thickened with a bit of calorie-free cellulose, for example, are rated as more filling than thinner ones, even though both contain the same amount of protein and other nutrients, as well as calories.1 Another study found that simply whipping more air into a smoothie, which doubled the volume, led study subjects to report less hunger at their next meal, which resulted in the intake of 12% fewer calories at their next meal.2
The hungrier you are, the more you’re likely to eat. Most people are aware of this – if you wait until you’re ravenous, you’re probably going to overeat once you get the chance. One reason for this is that as your hunger level rises, you become much more sensitive to salty and sweet tastes3, probably because these two flavors tend to signal that a food is edible (compared to say, a bitter taste). Food manufacturers must know this…is it any wonder that so many of our snack foods – the ones we dive into when we’re famished – are loaded down with salt and sugar?
1Mattes RD and Rothacker D. Physiol & Behav, 74:551, 2001
2Rolls BJ et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 72:361, 2000
3Zverev YP. BMC Neuroscience, 5:5, 2004
Susan Bowerman is Director of Nutrition Training at Herbalife. Susan is a Registered Dietitian and a Board-Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics.