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DUBAI FITNESS CHALLENGE

Held from 29th October to 27th November 2022, the annual fitness movement featured an extensive range of free fitness events and activities across the city. …reports Asian Lite News

The sixth annual Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC) has concluded after an action-packed, month-long celebration of fitness and wellness.

The Challenge, an initiative of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, aimed at making Dubai a happier and healthier city, saw 2,212,246 participants committing to 30 minutes of exercise, every day, for 30 days.

Held from 29th October to 27th November 2022, the annual fitness movement featured an extensive range of free fitness events and activities across the city.

The Challenge offered an exhilarating month of fun and inclusive fitness activities across two fitness villages, DP World Kite Beach Fitness Village, and RTA Last Exit Al Khawaneej Fitness Village, as well as 19 community fitness hubs, a host of sporting events and thousands of free classes across the city.

In addition, participants had a chance to take part in two mega fitness events on Sheikh Zayed Road – Dubai Ride Presented by DP World, and Dubai Run Presented by Mai Dubai – in addition to the inaugural Expo City Dubai Sports and Fitness Weekend, offering over 45 partner sporting events and more than 13,000 free fitness classes.

The Fitness Villages and Fitness Hubs alone were attended by more than 263,000 participants who had the opportunity to engage in diverse activities ranging from Padel tennis and football training to rowing and spinning, apart from several fun high-energy group workouts, suitable for all fitness levels.

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‘Fitness include both present and future’

Lifting weights is a great way to build the physique you strive for, whether it’s to get bigger or gain lean muscle mass and look more shredded…Krishna speaks with Tanya Banon

Due to concerns with comfort and confidence, women used to avoid going to the gym or wellness centres to exercise. They used to be scared of fitness, but in today’s society, they are dominating it on a global scale.

MuscleBlaze, a sports nutrition company, recently launched their “Ladies Who Lift” campaign, featuring Krishna Shroff. It also has an all-female collaboration song called “Ni Aar Di – Ladies Who Lift”, celebrate a woman’s undying spirit and enthusiasm for lifting. With this campaign it hopes to inspire more women to exercise and emphasises the benefits of doing so.

Krishna Shroff has made a career out of her enthusiasm for exercise and is the ideal example of a fit woman. Other notable women achievers from various backgrounds in the song, are fitness model Jyoti Solanki, para athlete Nisha Gupta, national medal-winning gymnast Parul Arora, athlete and entrepreneur Vaishali Bhoir, and former taekwondo player Shraddha Rangarh.

Reflecting on the latest campaign, Kaustav Paliwal, Business Head, MuscleBlaze said, “With this campaign we are expressing to ignite today’s superwoman’s fire to be fit, healthy and ace every aspect of their fitness journey despite the busy life they pursue. We not only support Ladies who Lift but have their backs to follow their dreams regardless of challenges that they may be facing. With this campaign, we hope to dispel the myth that consuming supplements and protein is a barrier to staying fit in women. We want to emphasize the relevance of nutrients for women, regardless of gender bias, with the anthem song, which features the iconic fitness buff Krishna Shroff.” We spoke to Shroff about her fitness journey. Read excerpts:

What led you to embark on your fitness journey?

Krishna: Fitness is something I wish I had found at a much earlier stage in life, as it’s changed it forever. When I began my fitness journey about 5 and a half years ago, I did so because I decided I needed to do something transformational for myself. As I continued my journey, what really kept me consistent was not just the physical changes I was seeing in my body and the progression each week; it was also the mental shift I gained. It gave me a new-found sense of confidence, drive, and discipline that I had greatly lacked in my life before.

Lifting weights is mistakenly perceived to bulk women’s figures, however it does the opposite and chisels out slender and fit bodies, do you agree?


Krishna: It’s physically impossible for a woman to get as bulky or as big as a man would simply due to the fact that we don’t possess even close to the same amount of testosterone that they do. Lifting weights is a great way to build the physique you strive for, whether it’s to get bigger or gain lean muscle mass and look more shredded. However, the main culprit is your diet. Lifting weights, however, does in fact add more muscle mass to your body, and muscle takes up less space than fat does, making you look leaner as you get more toned.

Do you feel women in India are not as enthusiastic about their fitness as compared to the rest of the world and why?

Krishna: No, I don’t believe that. Fitness is, in my opinion, the most dynamic sector of the global economy right now. It includes both the present and the future. Women all over the world are focusing on their physical, mental, spiritual/emotional, and general wellness in addition to becoming more body conscious.

Abs are made in the kitchen, do you agree and what is your meal plan?


Krishna: 100 per cent ! The majority of the game is your nutrition plan, perhaps even 80 per cent. You won’t get the results you want if you work out hard in the gym but don’t supplement your workouts with the right food. Additionally, despite the fact that I hardly ever train my core, many people assume I am at the gym doing 1000 sit-ups. Heavy compound lifts like the deadlift, bench press, shoulder press, and squat all intensely engage your core and can greatly strengthen it.

In fact, MuscleBlaze’s #LWL campaign aims to connect with female audiences by raising awareness about the importance of nutrition while working out.

How does it feel to be a fitness influencer?

Krishna: It’s one of the most rewarding things in life! I consider myself fortunate to be able to impart knowledge and encourage healthier living among individuals all around the world. Your health comes first, and without it, nothing else matters. I will always be grateful that I discovered fitness.

I’m so excited to collaborate with MuscleBlaze for the #LWL campaign. Ladies Who Lift to me, is about both being empowered from within and striving to empower others around you. It resembles being the best version one can be, fueling yourself with what nourishes you to push boundaries, and setting your own goals every single day to see your body and mind’s capabilities. LWL brings strong, fierce women from diverse backgrounds together to help motivate and inspire others and I’m really happy to have gotten an opportunity to be a role model for so many women out there.

ALSO READ-Determined journey to fitness

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Lifestyle Lite Blogs

Determined journey to fitness

Record your pulse rate before and after walking one mile; determine how long it takes you to walk or run a mile; know how many push-ups you can do; and measure your waist circumference and BMI…writes DR SIDDHANT BHARGAVA

One of the best things you can do for yourself is to start a fitness programme. When you transition from couches to crunches, you feel revitalised and exhilarated.

Physical activity improves brain health and lowers the risk of chronic diseases; it improves balance and coordination, strengthens bones and muscles, helps with weight management, and improves sleep quality and the ability to perform daily tasks.

Going straight for the bench press on day one will be contrary to your expectation of instant six-pack abs and may lead to an injury. If you are considering starting exercising but, don’t know where to begin, identify your level of fitness to know where to start and what to do at first.

Here’s a guide to help you start a routine and stick to it for the best results without straining yourself:

Identify your fitness level

First, determine your level of fitness. You should have a firm grasp on how to fit yourself. To track your progress, you must first assess and record your baseline fitness score to establish a baseline for yourself.

Record your pulse rate before and after walking one mile; determine how long it takes you to walk or run a mile; know how many push-ups you can do; and measure your waist circumference and BMI.

Before beginning an exercise routine, you should consult a fitness expert and have a physical medical examination. Identifying your fitness level is especially important for beginners who are new to strenuous physical activities because it can detect any health issues or conditions that may put you at risk.

Design your fitness program

Exercising every day needs a plan that includes attainable steps and goals. Create a balanced routine and start with easy steps to follow, and then you can continue to raise the bar as your fitness levels improve. For instance, if your goal is to do a 5-kilometre run, start by building a plan that includes shorter runs. Slowly as you will climb up the ladders, build activities into your daily routine, try high-interval intensity training and allow time for recovery.

Stick to it

Replacing unhealthy behaviour with new healthier habits is an excellent approach to achieving your fitness goals. Therefore, stick to your exercise routine. Develop a habit and do it regularly. Make a schedule and exercise at the same time every day. As per the experts, one should exercise at least 150 minutes per week. Start slowly and let your body rest from time to time and choose a time that works best for you.

Eat healthily and stay hydrated

Eat a healthy and balanced diet to boost your fitness programme. While carbs can fuel your muscles, replenish glycogen stores after exercise and assist with the absorption of amino acids into your muscles during recovery, proteins help improve muscle recovery, repair tissue damage and build muscle mass.

In addition to this, consuming healthy fats help burn body fat and preserve muscle fuel during workouts, making your energy last longer. It is equally important to stay hydrated throughout the day for optimal performance. It also helps you recover and gets you ready for your next training session.

Monitor your progress

Conduct a personal fitness assessment every two months. You will come to know about a lot of things such as the need to increase exercise time to continue improving, or maybe you will find that you’re exercising enough to meet your fitness goals.

Remember that starting an exercise is an important decision. It can change your life and provide you with a sense of fulfilment. By planning it carefully and slowly achieving all your fitness goals you can establish a healthy habit that will lead to a healthy body and mind.

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New gen speak of fitness

Gyms and studios are open again, businesses and trainers are continuing to offer hybrid programmes to help clients stay consistent regardless of which mode they choose…writes Ketan Mavinkurve

Over the last 24 months, the fitness industry has seen a complete shake-up, with Covid-19-related shutdowns resulting in gyms closing shop, many scrambling to digitise their business offerings, and many trainers and small businesses left hapless in its wake.

As with most businesses around the world, technology has been a central theme, with accelerated adoption during the pandemic fueling unprecedented changes in consumer behaviour willing to try new apps, workouts, and be counselled all from the comfort of their own home.

However, with everyone jumping on the “online fitness” bandwagon, albeit with a variety of approaches, there has been a significant increase in the number of fitness platforms all vying to “disrupt” the fitness industry.

The fitness industry in India is no different, and here are some material changes.

The Customer

The pandemic drove millions of people who were suddenly barred from their favourite gyms, forcing consumers to accelerate their adoption of home fitness. Home workouts, which were previously unthinkable, became the only way to go, and people began to see the benefits of these workouts, which included increased flexibility, privacy, and the convenience of being able to workout at home. In addition, many myths about bodyweight workouts being ineffective were debunked, allowing consumers to push themselves through intense workouts.

Fitness app downloads are expected to have increased by 46 percent worldwide in the second quarter of 2020, with India leading the way with a 156 percent increase, adding approximately 58 million new active users!

Fitness Studios

Traditional studios became agile during the pandemic by developing capabilities to cater to at-home consumers, focusing on home workouts, and moving all personal training to video apps for nearly a year. Similarly, many coaches began offering online group classes in order to retain customers and make ends meet.

And now that gyms and studios are open again, businesses and trainers are continuing to offer hybrid programmes to help clients stay consistent regardless of which mode they choose.

Fitness Tech Platforms

Fitness platforms offer far more than just fitness through technology, but also accountability, community, group challenges, rewards programmes, access to exclusive events, and so much more no wonder people embraced them, and they became the pandemic’s largest gainers, with ready solutions to die-hard enthusiasts’ fitness woes. To attract customers, they also included a variety of entry-level programmes such as dance, yoga, and mindfulness.

Their subscription services allowed you to exercise at your leisure while feeling more connected to those around you and accountable to a coach or community.

Big changes are still taking place in the industry, as the entire spectrum of home fitness (or anytime-anywhere-accessible-fitness) is quickly becoming the norm, with more people opting for remote formats.

Tech platforms are currently reimagining the entire fitness experience, putting the consumer at the centre. This is accomplished through the use of hyper-personalization, in which programmes can be built seamlessly around clients’ lifestyles, heart rates, sleep, nutrition logs, daily step count, and mood patterns, among other things � using these correctly can be powerful in how we can improve results for each individual, all while doing activities they enjoy.

Fitness apps can be designed to provide meaningful experiences for customers regardless of their preferences, location, or price point. This, combined with meaningful insights, can assist us in losing weight while not giving up foods we enjoy or engaging in activities we enjoy!

Doing what we enjoy leads to consistency and sustainability, which makes leading a healthy lifestyle easier. “What gets measured gets done,” and “what gets done gets done”! All of this culminates in hyper-personalization and keeping the customer at the centre of everything we do!

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Food Health Lite Blogs

Stay fit and healthy in summer

Outdoor activities should be limited to the cooler parts of the day, such as early mornings before 11 a.m. or late evenings after 5 p.m…writes Olivia Sarkar

Want to keep healthy and avoid the scorching summer heat, which is a common concern at this time of year?

The summer heat is not only physically exhausting and uncomfortable, but it also puts us at risk for ailments like skin irritation, rashes, fever, dehydration, and food poisoning. While the summer heat is enjoyable, it is vital that we do not disregard our health. Extra care must be made to battle the heat and stay fit and healthy during this season.

Consume plenty of water: Summer heat and sweat can dehydrate your body, resulting in unfavourable health outcomes such as fever and chills. Drink at least 2 to 3 litres of water per day to keep yourself hydrated.

Take precautions to avoid heatstroke: Another major issue that older adults face during the hot summer months is heatstroke. The main reason that older adults are more vulnerable to this is that their bodies do not adjust to temperature changes as quickly. High fever, nausea, vomiting, headache, and dizziness are all common symptoms of heatstroke.

Light and comfortable attires: In the summer, it is best to dress in breathable and lightweight clothing to keep your body temperature regulated in the hot sun. Instead of heavy clothing, choose natural fabrics such as cotton and linen.

Indoor stays are best: Outdoor activities should be limited to the cooler parts of the day, such as early mornings before 11 a.m. or late evenings after 5 p.m.

Eat healthy and light: Consume small, frequent meals. Heavy meals with high carbohydrate and fat content generate a lot of heat in the body. Concentrate on fresh fruits and vegetables with high water content, such as oranges, watermelon, tomatoes, and so on.

Protect your eyes: Wear protective eyewear to protect your eyes from the harsh sunlight at work and at play. When going outside, wear sunglasses that block at least 99 per cent of UV rays.

Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine: Alcohol, fizzy drinks, and coffee can all dehydrate you quickly. If at all possible, try to limit your intake of these popular beverages, especially during hot weather. A good substitute is a plain or flavoured water.

ALSO READ-‘Good health depends on long-term commitment’

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‘I want to make fitness accessible for entire world’

Fitness talks were formed with a basic idea of positively affecting people’s health and lifestyle so they lead a happier, fitter life… Pranit Shilimkar speaks with N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe

Besides a great body, fitness and working out has amazing benefits and paybacks. It keeps your body conditioned, your mind disciplines and your heart happy. Don’t take out word for it, Pranit Shilimkar Health and Fitness Entrepreneur, Digital content creator and Founder of Fitnesstalks speaks about why fitness is the need of the hour.

Tell us about your journey into fitness? What was the toughest part of your weight loss journey?

Pranit: My fitness journey began during my college days. I was always a chubby kid with more than a few extra pounds, and that led to insecurities and low self-esteem. It was drastically impacting my mental health. When I first started working out I was surprised with the way my body and mind reciprocated. I soon started to develop a passion for looking and feeling good and that was the first major catalyst for my fitness journey. The toughest part has always been the injuries and dealing with them and the time I cannot work out.

How was Fitnesstalks India formed?

Pranit: Ever since I started working on myself, I realized I had a passion for teaching. I wanted people to experience the same happiness and joy which I experienced from being fit. Fitness talks was formed with a basic idea of positively affecting people’s health and lifestyle so they lead a happier, fitter life.

Tell us about your 37 days challenge? How are you combining Mental and Physical Health in the challenge?

Pranit: The #37dayschallenge is a fitness challenge that attempts to get the best out of you through a rigorous fitness regime over 37 days. You’re provided with a nutritionist and a personal trainer who aid you throughout these 37 days. The aim is not just fat loss, but an improvement in the quality of life through better health. This is why we have also started providing our clients with psychologists in order to understand their mental health conditions and what help they require from us in order to deal with stress and other issues.

What is your vision with Fitnesstalks India?

Pranit: I want to make fitness accessible and engaging for the entire world. It’s my way of leaving a positive impact on the planet, by making people aware of their health and its potential.

What do you do on days when you don’t feel like working out?

Pranit: It usually doesn’t happen that I don’t feel like working out, because not only am I a fitness influencer, but also a fitness entrepreneur. I need to be in a good shape not just for my profession but also for my own mental health. I’m also really passionate about working out, so it’s something I actively seek throughout my day. On the days when I’m recovering or taking a break, I usually take some time off for my family and travel or meet friends I cannot usually see due to my congested schedule.

Advice for people who are just starting their fitness journey?

Pranit: Show up every day i.e be consistent. Start with tiny steps, focus more on being disciplined as opposed to following rigorous diet or workout trends. Also, focus on changing your lifestyle – it has a long-term positive effect on your life. The rest are basics that you shouldn’t ignore – daily physical activity, mindful eating, rest and recovery, and hydration.

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‘Consistency’, the real mantra behind fitness

Do we stop eating? Do we stop sleeping? NO! We don’t because our body needs every day to function properly…Shwetambari speaks with Siddhi Jain.

Since pandemic has affected total lifestyle, people started to give more importance to workout and fitness. At-home fitness has become the new reality for millions across the globe, and according to fitness experts like Shwetambari Shetty, who is one of the fittest Indian women and a trainer, it is here to stay. The Cult. fit expert says she has witnessed people dropping weight, losing fat, gaining muscle, looking lean and strong, and becoming the best version of themselves using at-home workouts.
Excerpts:


As a coach, how do you think the pandemic has impacted India’s fitness levels?


To me it looks like India is finally ready to make exercise a necessity and a way of life. Until now it has been a luxury. People are understanding that regular exercise and movement helps one become fit and healthy. Maintaining good health, also means good immunity which makes one stronger overall to fight certain illnesses and conditions. So yes, people are now more aware of why everyday movement and fitness is key. It’s not ‘I have a special occasion and need to drop some pounds’ anymore. People are making exercise and fitness a part of their daily routine.

Online fitness sessions and classes have seen a boom. Do you find them as effective as sweating it out in a gym or a physical group class?

I have witnessed people dropping weight, losing fat, gaining muscle, looking lean and strong, and becoming the best version of themselves using at-home workouts. We would have never known this could be possible if it wasn’t for this pandemic. So while we love the adrenaline a group class brings in at the gym, the conclusion is home workouts can be just as effective as a gym workout.

Many beginners who would otherwise be intimidated to step inside a gym due to many reasons, including body shaming, have resorted to exercising at home as they feel that is a “no judgement zone”. They have lost weight, gained confidence, gained good health and high energy. There is no risk of injury if a beginner starts as a beginner, slowly and steadily, and follows all the trainers’ instructions and trains with a qualified fitness coach. To help all our beginners, we have ensured that we have multiple beginner-friendly workouts across all formats and age groups via the cult.live offering.

Personally, how have you been working out during the Covid era?

At home! I delivered a baby in July 2020, during the peak of the first Covid wave, and started working out a month after. I lost 10 plus kg that I gained from pregnancy by working out at home. Now I have started going to Cult.fit. I had my Dance. Fitness for cardio and then got myself dumbbells for my strength training and did yoga twice a week.

Where do most people go wrong when it comes to achieving any fitness goals, say fat loss or belly burn, or toning the body?

Consistency! People are not consistent and not regular with their workouts. As soon as a goal is achieved, people take a break. Do we stop eating? Do we stop sleeping? NO! We don’t because our body needs every day to function properly. In the exact same way, our body needs exercise and movement daily to function well and keep that unwanted fat at bay.

Your top three fitness tips would be…

One, breathe deeply and think positively. Your mind has a powerful impact on your body. Two, exercise regularly and Eat nutritiously. Consistency is the key here. Three, move often and sleep well. Stay active but ensure you rest well.

What is the one fitness trend that the industry could see in a big way in the coming time?


Exercising itself will be trending. People will choose a barbell over a bar. Given the importance of being and staying healthy for each of us being more pronounced than ever, the biggest trend that is coming is just the need to exercise and build it into your lifestyle. Apart from this, having a healthy mind along with a healthy body is also a key trend that has come up and will continue to gain momentum.

You are a trainer at Cult.Fit, and there’s massive uptake of your 4-week Belly Burn course. What do you think is the reason for this targeted preference?

Everyone I know wants a flat stomach, washboard abs, or six packs. While this is totally possible, it will take a great deal of effort and hard work. The Belly Burn program, thus, does not promote spot reduction because that is not possible. It aids in building a strong core and as we exercise for a strong core, a lot of that belly fat will go away. The program also promotes HIIT — these are workouts that alternate between high-and low-intensity. The powerful bursts of energy use more fat as fuel and the rest periods in between to help flush out waste products from muscles. In a program like this we have the perfect combination of burning full body fat and strengthening the core. And people who experienced it in its first run did just this. We had 30k plus people participating and engaging actively with us to get fitter using the workouts, meal plans, and group discussions. We think the success of a targeted preference like this lies in the fact that a lot of people have specific goals in mind — such as fat loss, improving strength, increasing flexibility etc — and they want an organized and guided approach to help them attain it.

For people taking this course, what is your advice?

A: My advice would be to stay consistent. Don’t give up in the middle if you want to fulfill your goal. If it gets tough, take a breath and come back. Take it at your own pace. You can also engage actively with other members that sign up to ensure you stay motivated.

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Meera realizes the need to ‘be and feel healthy’

Yoga has worked wonders for me, hence I would recommend everyone to include yoga in their daily routine.”…Meera speaks with Siddhi Jain.

Bollywood celebrity Mira Kapoor says she turned to yoga because she realised that yoga helps her listen to her body and makes her feel connected and in tune with herself.

“My yoga journey picked up after I became a mom. It helped me in ways that made me realise that yoga is more than just weight loss. It helped me strengthen myself, become flexible and be more mindful. My go-to yoga routine involves hip mobility and flexibility flow that includes asanas like Halasana and Sarvangasana,” Kapoor, who is also a partner at SARVA and a yoga enthusiast told.

Kapoor is part of the yoga-based wellness brand’s ‘Achieve’, a collaborative platform where various celebrity yoga enthusiasts join hands with the brand to create goal-based workshops aimed at achieving sustainable fitness outcomes in an engaging, encouraging and interactive way.

“Collaborating with SARVA on ‘Achieve’, sharing the tips and tricks that worked for me with a larger audience is an opportunity I want to make the most of. We have solutions for people like you and me. Real bodies with real problems and real solutions.”

Asked why she recommends post-partum yoga, Kapoor shares: “Post-pregnancy, my back pain (that everyone said would go after my deliveries), never really left me. I tried all sorts of remedies and routines. I realised what I needed was to ‘be healthy, feel healthy’ from within, this was more than just weight loss for me, and I decided to turn to yoga.

“Yoga cured me of my chronic back pain, sorted my gut issues and even helped with regularising my hormones. Yoga has worked wonders for me, hence I would recommend everyone to include yoga in their daily routine.”

Does she involve her husband Shahid Kapoor and their two children in it, too? “Well, I try to as much as I can, over the weekends, but we all have different schedules and goals!”

She had recently posted glimpses from a yoga session with her mother and grandmother. Asked about her takeaways from their yoga practices, she says: “I think my first takeaway is that women of all ages must continue to practice yoga. Intensities can vary but the important thing to do is be consistent. That’s my biggest takeaway.”

Sarvesh Shashi, Founder, SARVA, says, “There is a renewed interest in people wanting to live healthy and fit. The opportunity to train with celebrities with their own tried and tested methods of fitness is a particularly unique motivation for those who want that extra push to start back on their fitness journeys or even to motivate themselves to do more for their health. This is where we are aiming to make a positive impact through ‘Achieve’. We have collaborated with celebrities who have used the power of yoga to transform and manage their own health and fitness. They will now share their personal yoga journeys. favourite routines, and techniques with the audience. Anything that will get people off their arduous work schedules and dedicate some time for themselves”.

ALSO READ-Sneak-peek into Sameera’s parenting world

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Malaika shares her ‘herculean task’ of Covid recovery

I felt disappointed that my body wasn’t supporting how my mind felt. I was afraid that I’d never gain back my strength. I wondered whether I’d even be able to complete one activity in 24 hours,” says Malaika

Many stars in the Bollywood industry have tested positive for corona virus and continuously shared their experience through social media. Malaika Arora also opened up on her post-Covid recovery experience. She says being infected by the virus broke her physically, and it’s only after about 32 weeks of testing negative that she started to feel like herself again.

Malaika posted a collage of three pictures on Instagram, where she flaunts perfect washboard abs in a black sports bra, which she teamed with matching cycling shorts.

“What defines strength?’You’re so lucky’, ‘It must have been so easy’ is something I hear regularly. Well yes, I am grateful for a lot of things in my life. But luck, played a very small role in it. And easy!? Boy! That, it was not. I tested positive on the 5th of September and it was really bad. Anyone out there calling a Covid recovery easy, is either blessed with great immunity or isn’t aware of the struggles of Covid. Having gone through it myself, “Easy” is not the word I’d choose. It broke me physically. Walking 2 steps felt like a herculean task. Sitting up, just stepping out of bed, wanting to stand in my window was a journey in itself. I gained weight, I felt weak, lost my stamina, I was away from my family and more. I finally tested negative on the 26th of September and I was so grateful that I did. But the weakness stayed. I felt disappointed that my body wasn’t supporting how my mind felt. I was afraid that I’d never gain back my strength. I wondered whether I’d even be able to complete one activity in 24 hours,” she wrote.

“My first workout, was brutal. I couldn’t do anything well. I felt broken. But Day 2, I got back up and I told myself, I am my own maker. And then day 3 and 4 and 5 and so on. It’s been about 32 weeks since I tested negative and I finally have started to feel like myself again. I’m able to work out the way I used to before I tested positive. I’m able to breathe better and I feel strong both physically and mentally,” she added.

Malaika (Credits : Pallav Paliwal)

Talking about what motivated her, she said: “The four-letter word that pushed me through was HOPE. The hope that it’s all going to be okay, even when it feels like it’s not okay. Thank you to all of you who have been sending me messages, DMs and inspiring stuff which kept my spirits high. But I also pray that the world recovers as well and we all come out of this together. I come out of this phase with 2 words. GRIT & GRATITUDE. Thank you my dearest brother & partner @sarvesh_shashi. Next 30 week phase starts in June!”

ALSO READ-PICS: Malaika Ready For A Fit Start

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Cardinal rules to help your fitness expedition

The first step before getting into a fitness routine is to understand what your aim is. Whether it is to lose weight, improve cardiovascular health, build flexibility or build muscle power…writes Siddhi Jain.

Starting a fitness routine is a tough and overwhelming choice. Especially if you are a beginner and can barely differentiate between a bench press and a cross trainer, let alone know what goals you can achieve with either. Staying motivated to work out may very well be hard, but not impossible. A personal trainer may be able to help you on this journey, yet the motivation comes from no one but yourself.

If you want to see the change in your body and are ready to make serious changes to your lifestyle while stuck at home again, Niraj Puran Rao, fitness icon and the Indian candidate on the iconic business reality show the Apprentice e ONE Championship edition, shares some cardinal rules to help your fitness expedition take off today.

Self-commitment

You need to understand that this is a process that will require full commitment at your end. You need to be absolutely ready for taking on this challenge since fitness is all about finding the perfect balance. It will get difficult to reach your desired goals with a lack of self-commitment.

Set a clear goal

The first step before getting into a fitness routine is to understand what your aim is. Whether it is to lose weight, improve cardiovascular health, build flexibility or build muscle power. Determining what you want will lead you to taking up a fitness routine in alignment with your goal.

Start small

While your body is very capable of change, it is impossible to expect that you will be able to do 3 repetitions with heavyweights on the very first day that you begin your fitness journey. You could try a class that will help you find the best exercise routine based on your fitness goals. It may not necessarily be working out in the gym but could also be Pilates, yoga or even Zumba.

Keep it going

The process of fitness can be tiresome and may even make you give up. That is when you need to spring up and get back into the routine. You need not do the same exercise every day, instead could try brisk walking or doing 5-10 Suryanamaskars to keep the momentum going.

Find a friend

A workout buddy who has similar fitness goals like yours can be of great support in this journey. They can be your cheerleaders when you feel low and demotivated, and you can also hold each other accountable to your fitness goals. After all, who doesn’t like a partner- in-fitness.

Eating right

Now that you have started on your fitness journey and have gotten the motivation to exercise, it’s time to watch what you eat. Without the right kind of food, your fitness routine will go for a toss. Healthy food and plenty of water is the fuel that your body needs. It is essential to consume carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats in equal amounts.

Be kind to yourself


This project you have taken up is just for yourself. It is important to celebrate the small wins like increase in the number of sets you do or the number of miles you ran and treat yourself. You could even buy those cool athleisure outfits that you were eyeing to sustain the excitement and make it a fun experience. You must reward yourself for all that hard work that you put in.

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