Bangkok’s Best Street Food

Thailand has much more to offer than its martial arts and Muay Thai. It has an extremely rich culture of food and especially street food.  There is every kind of dish to satisfy all the 5 basic tastes that can the tongue can perceive and even a controversial 6th taste that is other than sour, bitter, salty, sweet and umami. The Thai savour piquancy or hotness, just like the Indians or Chinese, so you fill find a lot of traditionally hot dishes in many parts of Thailand.

A huge favourite and extremely popular lunch or breakfast option and my personal favourite especially for a meal on the go is ‘Khao Gang’ or curry rice.  This curry rice is combination of rice, curries and stir fries, any mixture of which can be added to a plate and enjoyed on the go. One of the top sellers of this particular type of dish is Khao gaeng rattana that serve two crowd favourites that include, gang kiew waan gai (chicken green curry) and gang som goong (sour curry with shrimp). Visit Bangkok’s famous Old Town to try the best ‘Khao Gang’.

If you’re heading to Old Town, you simply cannot pass up an opportunity to visit Jay Fai at Mahachai Road. Just drop the name and you’ll instantly get directions to her exact location. There is a reason that she is considered Bangkok’s best street food cook. Few other cooks can compete with her expertise in the Wok. Although her dishes are expensive, with some costing close to a 1000 bhatt or (27$), they are well worth the shot. Her most famous dish is the ‘guay tiew pad kee mowor Drunken noodles. This dish has a lot of chilly in it, so if you’re a lightweight in the chilli department you might want to take baby steps while trying it.

Another classic Thai dish is Thai-style ‘sukiyaki’, which is a wok-fried assortment of glass noodles, egg and seafood served with a chilli sauce and topped with pickled garlic. Although it is not the most attractive or good-looking dish; it is certainly worth the try. I promise you will be pleasantly surprised. After all Thai-style ‘sukiyaki’ is one of the Thailands most loved street foods. For the best sukiyaki in Bangkok, you should visit Elvis Suki (pretty catchy isn’t it) at Soi yodase. He serves a mean sukiyaki among other awesome dishes.  

If Handmade ice cream is your thing, then you simply must visit Nuttaporn Ice Cream. Although Bangkok is not too big on hand made ice cream, this single joint will get your sweet buds craving for more. They have had over 60 years of experience in crafting and making ice cream from the bottom up, so you can be positive that you’re in for a treat – Bangkok style. Popular flavours include coconut milk, mango (mamuang), coffee, and chocolate. For toppings, you can pick from roasted peanust, beans, coconut sticky rice, corn, coconut and more.

A sneak peak into the world of Thai Boxing

I have been training for close to 15 years in the ancient art of Muay thai or Siamese Style Boxing as it was called back in the day. Siamese Style Boxing has its origins in the 16th century. During a war between the Burmese Konbaung Dynasty and Siam, a renowned Siam warrior by the name of Non Khanomtom was captured by the Burmese. The Burmese were well aware of the Khanomtom’s hand to hand fighting skills and decided to give him the opportunity to fight for his freedom. Khanomtom defeated all his opponents in a series of hand to hand combat matches and was eventually granted his freedom as promised.  On his return to Siam, he was honoured as a hero as his style of fighting became known as Siamese Style Boxing, which later grew into the Sport of Muay Thai.

Muay Thai

Today Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand. Like other traditional martial arts, there are many different styles of Muay Thai fighting. Most commonly, it know as “the art of eight limbs”, because fighters are allowed to strike with eight different body parts, including the forearms, fists,  elbows, knees, legs, shins, and feet.

In Muay Thai fighters use the clinch instead while standing as a form of grappling and controlling their opponent as opposed to other forms of grappling on the floor. The clinch is an extremely effective technique, where fighters can land devastating blows with their elbows (including spinning elbows or ”Sok klap”) and knees to the head, stomach and ribs.

clinch

Another effective technique in Thai boxing is the foot thrust or foot jab, called the “theep”. Unlike other offensive techniques, the “theep” is a defensive kick that is used to maintain distance, block attacks and knock opponents off balance.

muay thai shin conditioning

Like most other forms of fighting, Muay thai too has a focus on body conditioning and physical fitness. However, where Muay Thai is unique, is in the level of conditioning that is required of fighters. Apart from the regular body weight training regimens, which include medicine balls, weight training, running etc, Thai fighters regularly strike a dense heavy bag with their shins to harden the bone through a process called cortical remodelling.

Muat Thai clinch

Although, Muay Thai is extremely popular in Thailand as well as other South East Asian countries, its popularity has grown and expanded to many western countries as well.  The WTBA  or the World Thai Boxing Association is the largest Muay Thai organisation in the United States with many internationally renowned fighters, trainers and coaches.

In Thailand, Muay Thai is taught to nearly every child, even girls are taught basic moves to defend themselves from an early age. The art of thai boxing is recognised as a supreme art of self discipline, mental toughness and personal advancement. From my own journey and experience with it, I can say with confidence that I have certainly found strength, toughness, discipline but above all else it has made me humble and peaceful. .

Why Spinning is the best Indoor Cycling

Spinning or Spin is a relatively new phenomenon in the world of cycling. However, it is one that has caught on like wild fire. You can find spin classes in almost every gym in every city of every state in the US. While it is still does scare the majority of the people who peak in through the windows or stare through the glass walls as groups of bikers paddle hard to the music and the instructor yelling out transitions, the whole concept of spin is catching more and more. Most new bees are scared because they feel like they won’t be able to keep up. I want you guys to know that you’re fear is unfounded, because no matter what you might have heard, no one just jumps on the saddle and makes perfect transitions and time on their very first shot. It takes time and doing and guess what, you get to go at your own pace without pushing yourself too hard.

The Benefits of Spinning

The Benefits of Spinning

1) Go at your own pace: Like I just said, at spin you can go at your own pace, till you’re comfortable. In all experiences of spin, I have only met upbeat, encouraging and inspiring instructors who know when to push and when not to. So rest assured that within that sweaty room with music humming in the back drop, you don’t have to stand or climb hard just because the guy beside does and is a long time veteran. You can and in fact you are encouraged to go at your own pace.

2) The Bike: Unlike most other indoor cycles, the spin bike is designed for all-out high intensity workouts. While the recumbent bike and upright bike are designed keeping comfort in mind, the spin bike is designed for the singular purpose of intense training at varying levels of difficulty. The spin bike has a 13-18kg flywheel at the front which simulates the momentum that is felt while riding a bicycle on the road. Also, along with the dials that allow the rider to control the level of intensity (including hill climbing) they wish to ride at, the handles are also specifically designed to offer differing grip positions for the various stages of spinning, that vary between seated, standing and jogging positions at various speeds.

Spinning

3) Full-body workout: While conventionally cycling and even spin really only helps to target the lower body, legs and the core, there are interesting ways in which you can get a more full body workout while you’re still pedaling. For example, you could hold light weights in your hands (3-5 lbs) and mimic boxing movements while you pedal in a seated position. Given time, you’re arms will be screaming for you stop, since you will be activating and burning a series of smaller muscle groups. As you get better and stronger you can even try standing and pedalling while you punch.

Read more:The Top 5 Benefits of Rowing

4) Huge Calorie Burn: Depending on the length of the spin session, which can vary between 30 mins to 75 mins and the level of intensity you spin at, riders can burn anywhere between 400 to 700 calories! On an average, even if you spin for 30 mins and give your second best, you can expect to burn close to 500 calories. The secret lies in the nature of the exercise, the class, your groups, the music and your instructor that come together perfectly to give you all the motivation you’ll ever need to meet your weight loss goals.

Conclusion

Spinning is especially great in the off-season, during the holidays and in the winter, when we all tend to put on those extra few pounds. All it takes is 30 mins of your time, 3-4 times a week and you can be sure you’ll meet your goal of losing 1-2 lbs every week. What’s even better is that you can spin from the comfort of your home, by simply downloading a few workouts and enjoying all the benefits.

The Top 5 Benefits of Rowing

The rower or the Ergometer as it is commonly called has recently gained major popularity in gyms and health clubs all around the world and especially in the United States. A lot of people and especially fitness instructors, coaches and therapists are beginning to realize the long forgotten benefits of this incredible exercise machine. While the rower was extremely popular a few decades ago, particularly in the 50’s and 60’s, the advent of newer machines such as the various indoor cycles, including spin bikes and another state of the art treadmills and elliptical had obscured the ERG and made the world forget about the awesome benefits of this simple, yet effective machine. The new Concept 2 line of air rowers has sparked a new fascination and interest in the world of rowing. And, the fact that the growing Crossfit community has adopted the rower as their ‘go to’ Cardio machine is another huge contributing factor that has shaped the majority opinion regarding rowing and its strength and cardiovascular benefits. You can checkout the best rowing machines available on AimWorkout.com as they are the best website in the market right now.

Having done a bit of rowing myself in college, I know firsthand the huge health as well strength benefits it has to offer. Hopefully after reading what the science and growing fitness community have to say about the erg, you too will join us and reap the all the glory from performing this simple exercise.

The Top 5 Benefits of Rowing:

The Top 5 Benefits Of Rowing

1) Full Body Workout: Unlike most other cardio machines the indoor rower or erg offers a full body workout. While indoor cycle, spin bikes, treadmills, cross trainers and only elliptical work the lower body, the rower effectively targets all the major muscle groups in the body, including the arms, shoulders, back, chest, core, and legs. To give more comprehensive insight into the nine major muscle groups that rowing targets, starting with the legs, it exercises the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves; in the arms, it works both the triceps and the biceps; the back; chest, shoulders and core. You will be hard pressed to find another machine that works for all those muscle groups as well as delivers a complete cardiovascular workout.

2) Low impact exercise: The beauty of the rower lies in its low impact exercise. Unlike other clunky equipment including the treadmill and some cross trainers, the rower puts minimal stress on your knee joints as well your elbow joints and back. In fact because of the rowers low impact capacity, it is the foremost exercise tool for most runners and athletes in rehabilitation and injury prevention. It is also a great tool for obese and overweight people since it does the mechanics of the sliding seat helps to displace weight effectively, so that the individual can transition smoothly from position to the next.

Rowing machine

3) Improves Strength and endurance: Also, Unlike most cardio machines, that are singular and one-dimensional in their exercise capacities, the rower is both a strength training tool as well as a cardio/ endurance tool. James Brown of rowing machine man also talks about that Owing to its inherently aerobic as well as anaerobic training capacities, rowing is considered a strength-endurance sport. The natural rowing stroke works the lungs as much as it does the body that is constantly pulling and sliding to complete each stroke.

4) Huge Calorie Burn: Increasingly more and more health and fitness professional recognize the rower’s efficiency as a weight loss tool. Owing to the low impact nature of exercise it offers, as well as the successful weight displacement and the myriad different intensity levels an individual has to choose from, the rower is slowly becoming the leading weight loss tool along with cycling for many overweight people.

Read more:why spinning is the best indoor cycling .

5) Anyone can Row: This is perhaps the single most attractive feature of the rower: anyone can use it. Regardless of age, weight or fitness level, the indoor rower can be used by almost anyone with the goal of leading a healthier lifestyle. This machine requires no requisite training or fitness level, only a commitment to get healthier and live better.

Conclusion

Whether your goal is it to gain strength, improve fitness and endurance or lose weight, the indoor rower, and rowing and help you achieve all three at the same time. Modern rowers are equipped with advanced computer monitors with pre-installed workouts, calorie trackers and other salient features too help you get the most of every workout and reach your goals that much quicker.

5 Reasons Why Owning a Home Gym Beats Going to the Gym

I’m going to give this age old conundrum my best shot and hope to convince you guys of the benefits of setting up a home gym versus going to the gym. However, before I go any further, I would like to state the obvious by saying that gyms are not what they used to be 10 or 20 years ago. They have changed and that change in my opinion has been for the worse. These days most gyms are stacked with more cardio machines than they can accommodate, and a vast majority have even decided to dump the squat/power rack only to replace it with the Smith machine.

While there might be several reasons for these unfortunate changes, the important thing to note is that gyms are no longer conducive to heavy lifting or even body weight training, barring a few crossfit gyms. If you’re into crossfit, then more often than not it makes sense to go to the gym, but even they release a WOD (workout of the day) almost of every day, which you can perform by adding a few essential to your gym at home.

The bottom line, it is better in the long run and for your fitness goals to setup a gym at home. Although it might take some doing, once it’s done and the gym is in place, you can enjoy it and use it for years to come.

The benefits of Owning a Home Gym

The benefits of Owning a Home Gym

1) The Excuses Problem: Owning a gym in your basement, garage or even your room circumvents all the excuses that you could make about skipping your workout and cuts right to the chase of: I am going to do my work out or am I going to let this lethargy get the better of me. There is no room to hide behind, “I won’t be able to make the gym in time”, or “I won’t have enough time in the gym”, “the gym will be packed, let me forget it for today”, or “It’s just too far away and I don’t the energy to drive all that way”. With a gym in your house, you can get right too it.

2)Changing clothes: Going to the gym can become quite an ordeal, especially when you get back from work after a long day and realize that you have to change into your exercise gear and pack your back and make your shake. None of the problems exist if you have a home gym. You can wear whatever you want and just get right into your exercise routine. What’s more, you save a lot of energy, time and money on gas.

3) Your own music and you’re own pace: Having a gym at home allows the two greatest benefits: you can que your tunes and you don’t have to wait around for the rack to get free before you get your sets in. When you’re in the gym, you’re forced to wait and as a result you miss out on your intervals and achieving the goals of your workouts. It can even be hard to concentrate with people having conversations, talking on their phones and just yelling and throwing weights. At home you can put your head down and give your workout 100% of your attention.

home Gym

4) The problem of Equipment: Like I said before, most gyms do not have the requisite weight training equipment anymore and even if they do, it is extremely likely that you might have to wait a while before it’s your turn to use it. At home you have the freedom of adding all the equipment you need and you don’t have to wait on anyone, expect your brother if you have one.

5) Cost: This is really a no brainer. Gym member ships cost way more in the long run than it costs to set up a home gym. Setting up a home gym is a one-time cost that will serve you for years to come.

Conclusion

No matter what your fitness goals are, having a home gym can satisfy all of them and save you the need to make tons of excuses as well as spend lots of money on gas and gym fees. You can come home from work, maybe rest a few minutes and without any hassle what so ever, begin your workout and enjoy it.