Under Guidance of PS Malik

12 ways to up your fitness levels!

Aarti Jhurani

First of all, ditch the following words/phrases from your vocab instantly: Laziness, lack of time, no motivation, exhaustion. Done? Pat on the back. Now, pay close attention: Small, easy, simple and absolutely doable things — taken from your daily routine — can help you stay healthy and fit. You don’t have to necessarily pump iron for hours, sweat buckets or contort your body and torture it, in an effort to cut the flab.

In fact, a few years ago, a study published in a popular science journal discovered that short bursts of physical activity that add up to nothing more than a few minutes a day could be just as effective in keeping one’s health as a planned daily workout at the gym. Which means, simple things like just cleaning up your room — go on, pick up the towel from the floor—or putting things back where they belong — erm, that coffee cup has no job hanging out beneath your dresser — can make you fitter. So now, don’t make any excuses and just move that body to get into killer form!

Hobbies that make you groove!

Of course you’ll say you love ‘listening to music’. So exactly which expert has recommended that you must just lounge on your bed and listen to the latest hit? Hop around the room, do your own li’l jig, dance like no one’s watching and see those calories melt off you.

Gifting yourself a healthy hobby—one that keeps you on your toes for at least 20 minutes a day—could be your first step on the path to good health. Suggests Leena Mogre, Director, Leena Mogre’s Fitness, “Take your (or the neighbour’s) dog for a walk for about half an hour.” Alternately, you could try to pretty up your pad and burn some inches. “Household chores help too—anything that involves you constantly bending is a good workout! In fact, gardening for about half an hour easily burns 500 calories,” explains Nisha Verma, master trainer, Reebok.

Sleep your way through it

Sleep can be described as your body’s “me-time”, a time when it repairs the wear-and-tear it suffers through the day. Says Verma, “It is very important to stick to your biorhythm — which means you should work through the day, but sleep early in the night. Keep your partying plans for the weekends.” And get this, according to webmd.com, “Substantial medical evidence suggests fascinating links between sleep and weight.” In an article on the website, researchers have said that two hormones — Ghrelin, which stimulates appetite and Leptin, that sends a signal to your brain when you are full — influence our appetite, and the production of both these hormones could be influenced by how much or how little we sleep. So if you sleep the recommended 7-8 hours a day, you could naturally shed some weight!

Breathe in, breathe out… A few minutes of peace everyday…

Meditation is not something that only ascetics indulge in! It is simply a technique to watch and control your breath that works wonders for your health.

“Studies have proved that just 18 minutes of meditation in the morning and evening calms you down, reduces stress, and normalises your blood pressure. Even if you can’t do it twice a day, try doing it once daily and see the difference,” adds Verma. Additionally, because of the calming and de-stressing benefits of meditation, you are less likely to reach out for that bag of chips the moment something slightly stressful occurs. It is also well-known that meditation increases selfawareness, so the chances of you succumbing to emotional eating/bingeing are less likely.

Multi-tasking to good health

You do it at work, now try it for your health! “Even though it is important to warm up before you exercise, there are small things you can do within the framework of your daily routine. For instance, you can balance on one leg while you are brushing your teeth, or you could take bigger steps while you are walking or climbing up stairs “, says Verma. On the other hand, Mogre adds, “It is very important to get a fitness assessment done. It is also highly advisable to not try any exercises by yourself; you won’t know how you are harming yourself!”

Walk when you talk! Smart workout!

A popular Indian mobile carrier is urging people to walk when they talk on their cell phone—an effective workout for those strapped for time. Alternatives include parking one’s car far from where one is headed, and walking the rest of the way, or practicing the 3-Floor Rule, which holds that if your destination is three floors or less, you take the stairs.

Another tip we know you will love — go to the mall thrice a week — the biggest you can find and walk around. Heck, you can even gift yourself a little something every time you see a (downward) shift in your weight! “It would be great if one can wake 20 minutes before the regular time and include some form of exercise into the daily routine,” adds Verma.

A shot of vegetable juice a day…

You don’t even have to wait till evening for this one! It reduces your chance of getting diabetes, helps you lose weight, flushes all toxins from your body, gives you clearer skin, and takes care of a part of your mineral, vitamin and veggie intake for a day! Do you even need more reasons to get your daily fix of this magic potion? “You can have beetroot, carrot, mint, pumpkin, coriander, tomato, cucumber, carrot and apple juices. Shots of neem and tulsi work well too,” advises Mogre.

Have healthier between-meals snacks

Ditch the three meal syndrome. A lot of PYTs we have interviewed have claimed they do not eat between meals to maintain their svelte bodies. However, according to Verma, “As long as you are eating right, there is nothing wrong with eating between meals! A few suggestions—brown bread sandwiches, a glass of lassi or cold milk, fruits, roasted channas, raw veggies with chaat masala — it depends on you how to make it interesting,” advises Verma. And it makes a lot more sense to have small in-between meals that are healthy and low-fat than to stuff yourself with a huge hearty lunch/dinner full of carbs.

Pick your drinks carefully (Alcohol included!)

Ditch that soda to begin with — even if it is diet! It may have no calories, but it has a whole lot of other stuff that is doing more harm than good for your body! “Healthier options include fresh lime with salt, orange juice, green tea, and even hot lemon water with a little honey,” recommends Verma. Even if you are out drinking, make sure the drink you pick is low on calories. For instance, have your vodka with water and lime juice, instead of the usual calorie-infested soda!

Get friendly with your veggies

Green is the new black! Before your lunch or dinner, make sure you eat a big salad! “Not only does it check the number of calories you consume during the meal, it helps avoid hunger pangs, and keeps you from binge eating,” advises Verma. So what kind of salad can one have? “The more colourful your salad, the better it is— green (leafy vegetables, cucumber, capsicum), red (tomatoes), pink (onions), white (egg whites), yellow (bell peppers)—more colour equals more nutrient value. You can add lemon juice or other masalas for taste. But stay away from creamy seasonings,” adds Mogre.

Invest seven minutes……dig into a wholesome breakfast!

How many of us grab breakfast while we are running out of the house? Or even worse, just ignore that most important meal of the day? Chances are a lot of us are guilty of having done that pretty often! However it’s is one of the worst things you can do for your body. “It is important to spend at least seven minutes a day on eating breakfast. Eating a proper breakfast is what kicks off your metabolism first thing in the morning, and it is extremely important to have that meal within an hour of waking up”, instructs Mogre. “Are we saying we don’t have 7 minutes in a day of 24 hours to have a meal?”

If you skip breakfast, 80% of what you eat for lunch will be stored by your body as fat!

Plan your meals… Dig into food that keeps you full for longer!

No, there’s no point in eating a plateful of something that will register its presence in your system for precisely 30 minutes, and then you’ll be rummaging through the food cupboard to look for grub! For your main meal, pick foods that help you feel full for longer. “Choose from various salads, yoghurt, eggs, channa, daliya, oats, rajma, mixed vegetables, and anything which is high on fibre content,” suggests Nisha.

Source: http://cosmo.intoday.in/cosmopolitan/story.jsp?sid=7487& page=0


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Pratap S. Malik



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