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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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Health Lite Blogs

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.

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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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Health Lite Blogs

‘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”.

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Bollywood Interview Lite Blogs

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!”

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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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Any time doable breathing exercises

There are several other benefits to these exercises as well! It also helps us stay calmer, and de-stress especially in these unprecedented times we are living in…writes Jyoti Dabas.

While Covid-19 cases continue to surge, we need to be even more vigilant, while staying at home and keeping ourselves healthy and fit. While eating right and exercising ensures our bodies and minds stay fit, it is also important to strengthen our respiratory system — as that is also severely affected by the virus.

Breathing exercises are a great way to develop the lungs as they improve lung muscles, clear out any secretion and increase the capacity by supplying an adequate amount of oxygen. There are several other benefits to these exercises as well! It also helps us stay calmer, and de-stress especially in these unprecedented times we are living in.

To get started, here are five breathing exercises you can do at any time of the day and in any comfortable space.

Deep breathing with increasing counts: breath-in and breath-out

This is one of the easiest and most important exercises. It helps in strengthening our lungs and improving blood flow, immunity and eliminating stress and anxiety.

Steps:

* Sit down in a relaxed position, take a deep breath and count your inhalation and exhalation. Ideally, your inhalation and exhalation counts should be the same.

* With each breath increase the count to inhale and exhale for as long as comfortable. Practise from 2 to 5 minutes duration.

Diaphragmatic breathing


Also known as belly breathing, or abdominal breathing, this particular exercise has various benefits such as managing irritable bowel syndrome, depression, anxiety and insomnia. Normally people get in the habit of breathing without fully utilising the lower part of their lungs. With this breathing technique, you consciously practise filling in lungs to their maximum capacity and increasing oxygen uptake.

Steps:

* Lie flat on the floor or sit in a comfortable position and relax your shoulders

* Put one hand below your chest and just above your stomach (this is where your diaphragm sits)

* Take a deep breath in by expanding your diaphragm or stomach and exhale slowly.

Cardiovascular exercise

The benefit of any cardiovascular exercises is that it increases your heart rate which forces the respiratory system to become more efficient and eventually increases the amount of oxygen you take with each breath. This allows for your lungs to improve capacity and function better. Here are some of the most common cardiovascular exercises that you can do from the comfort of your home: are brisk walking, spot jogging, jumping rope, jumping jacks and climbing staircase.

Anulom-vilom

More commonly known as alternate nostril breathing, it is a prevalent Pranayama and has been spoken about in the Hatha Yoga literature. This exercise helps clear out the nasal passage and improves respiratory muscle strength. It is advised that Anulom-vilom should be practiced on an empty stomach ideally in the morning or in the evening after a long meal gap.

Steps:

* Sit on a chair or on the ground cross legged, in a meditation position

* With your right thumb, close your right nostril and inhale through the left nostril. Release your right nostril and with your middle and ring finger, close your left nostril exhaling through the right nostril

* Inhale through the right nostril, then release the fingers, closing the right nostril and exhaling through the left nostril

* Continue the slow breathing through alternate nostrils and focus on the breath

* Practise this for 10 minutes for benefits to start accruing

Bhramari

Derived from Sanskrit, brahmari literally means a bee. It is a humming exercise, which increases nitric oxide in the body and acts as vasodilators; helps with easier blood flow through the vessels and prevents muscles from tightening.

Steps:

* Sit on a chair or on the ground cross legged, in a meditation position


* Close your ears using your thumb and place your middle and ring fingers lightly at the inner corner of your eyes.

Rest your index finger above your eyebrows and little finger where it rests on your cheeks

* Take a deep breathe in and while exhaling make a soft humming sound similar to ‘hmmmmm’, throughout the entire exhalation. Inhale again and while exhaling make the humming sound

* Practise for 10 minutes for benefits to start accruing.

These exercises won’t help prevent Covid, however, if performed daily, they will help in developing a stronger respiratory system which can help our body to fight any possible infection. Having said that, if you or your family members have any pre-existing health conditions or are feeling any discomfort, please do consult with your doctor.

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‘Fitness Habits: Breaking The Barriers To Fitness’

Most people fail not because they don’t have a goal, but they don’t have an action plan that determines their progress… Amaresh Ojha interacts with Siddhi Jain.

People always fascinated to know more about fitness secrets. Fitness entrepreneur and Gympik founder Amaresh Ojha’s recently-launched debut book, ‘Fitness Habits — Breaking The Barriers To Fitness’ breaks down the nuances of everyday health and is a nudge towards developing lasting fitness habits.

Co-authored by Subhra Moitra, this operating guide to fitness is published by Srishti Publications. In Ojha’s words, ”there is a fundamental drawback in the way people approach fitness and look down upon the nuances of forming fitness as a habit.” With the pandemic changing lives in an unprecedented way, Ojha’s new book spells why proactively investing time for health is important. It serves as a guide on how to maintain an equilibrium with existing habits, while creating new fitness routines, and how to understand and reshape your behavioural pattern.

Amaresh Ojha speaks about his debut book, and embracing fitness for better life:

How did the book ‘Fitness Habits’ come about? Why did you want to write something like this?

In my experience, fitness is one of the most confusing and scattered industries. There is no clear advice on how to start, continue, and succeed as everybody has their own way of approaching fitness. A large part of my journey lies in my lifelong predisposition to adopt good habits. It is my hope to share a holistic approach to fitness through the medium of this book.

Getting started with fitness is often the hardest. What does the book suggest as a solution?

In this new era of healthcare, achieving your fitness goals requires a continuous practice of certain habits that focus on the action plan rather than the goal. Most people fail not because they don’t have a goal, but they don’t have an action plan that determines their progress. There is a fundamental drawback in the way people approach fitness and look down upon the nuances of forming fitness as a habit. The book, Fitness Habits, is that guide you need to take the first step to create a sustainable habit through minimal shifts and modifications in your life.

What are your top tips to get started with one’s fitness journey and keep at it?

Start easy, find the simplest workout you can do in a day, and follow the 8 secrets of making fitness a habit as I have mentioned in the book. They are — Awareness, Find Your Why, Go slow but Go Forward, Add some Fun, Declutter your Cue, Prep Your Environment and Evaluate your Progress. Since fitness habit formation is a long-term process, it needs a constant boost to keep you motivated till you make it. The truth is you can make fitness an integral part of your daily life only when you take small steps consistently.

The pandemic has made people both unfit, and also partly aware of this lack of physical activity. How would you say the book will help?

Covid or not, we all know that a regular workout routine is a door to optimum health. The pandemic has just highlighted the fact that taking care of our health is not an option but a sheer necessity. People want to stay healthy, but they do not know how to stay healthy; and when we talk about staying healthy there are a lot many changes come along namely dietary changes, lifestyle modifications, limiting sugar and so on. All these can be taken care of with only one single change i.e., when you make fitness a habit. Once you have your fitness habits in place, you will automatically eat healthy, you will have better sleep, you will choose habits that will help you become healthier.

It’s all in the mind — What is your mind transformation mantra to alter how one looks at fitness?

Often people are trapped in the vicious cycle of following some irregular fitness routine and fad diets to get skinny in a short time. But soon it becomes painful, exhausting, and wry because they are unsustainable, unhealthy, and forced. A ‘strategic planning mindset’, which focuses on reaching smaller goals, can work as a huge motivating factor and makes your fitness routine easily doable. The more you tick off smaller goals the easier it is to achieve the bigger picture. Repeat your routine — even when it is a 10 minutes’ walk or a 5 minute jog, do it for the lowest time and repeat the routine every single day. Look at reaching smaller goals and you will build the pillars to attain your bigger fitness goals. This way you feel more confident about your progress and that, in fact, works as a motivational perk.

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