Today I will love myself enough to exercise.
You desire a model like figure; you can afford to go to a gym; you have time to exercise; yet you do not exercise regularly and tend to be overweight and fear problems of high BP, back and knee aches. If the above statements describe you, then this article is meant for you.
Should you exercise or just depend on a controlled diet?
See the image given- “Lose belly fat in—” This image and so many similar ads are selling false dreams.
Fad diets/ pills (fat burners, etc) and quick methods to change your appearance do not work; these methods are unhealthy. Simple methods of changing lifestyle have great benefits and are totally reliable whereas short cuts are unreliable and risky.
Exercise is Fun, Not Pain & Sweat
Exercise can be fun and need not involve pushing yourself through pain and sweat. Take up an exercise hobby with a partner or a group. Enjoy cycling, running, brisk walking or aerobics with friends in the morning, or after office. Stop the exercise whenever it appears to be boring, or taxing. Once you cross 20 min of exercise your body will start producing endorphins, which will give you a high and you will have a pleasure sensation. This way you can develop a healthy addiction! 3-4 days per week of such activity is good enough. You do not have to do it all 7 days of the week. This is the best way to start and not stop after 2 weeks. If you want to lose weight then do it at the rate of not more than 2 kg per month.
The above described exercises come under the category of cardio-exercises. These give good exercise to your heart and will also help in controlling the body weight. This is inadequate. Balanced exercise must also include strength building and stretching exercises. Strength building exercises are what you do with weights, or your own body weight as resistance. Simplest exercises are squats, push ups, pull ups and sit ups. These require no equipment and can be done anywhere. You can pick your method and type of exercises for strength building. These exercises are vital to maintain muscle tone, strength, bone density and posture. This form of exercise helps you to slim down, not only because of the calories burnt during exercise, but by increasing the muscle mass. Increased muscle mass raises the metabolic rate. In simple words if persons A and B weigh the same and A has greater muscle mass than B, then A will appear slimmer and will burn more calories than B, even while resting. Thus he will have a tendency of staying slimmer!
Weight Training for Ladies
Ladies are often scared of developing big muscles by lifting weights. Nothing like that will happen! Ladies must train with weights and serious weights, not the popular 500 gm and 1 kg dumbbells. Weight training is vital to maintain good posture, body tone and prevent osteoporosis.
The other vital exercise form is stretching. It has been popularised by ‘Yoga’. We need to stretch our muscles to help them recover, prevent injuries and maintain flexibility. It is most important for the back and spine. This form of exercise is ideally performed after a cardio, or strength workout for 10-15 min.
Food and Water
Food and water are essential for life. Please use the following tips to realise your dreams.
- Eat a light dinner. Since you sleep after dinner, this meal contributes maximum to increase of fat in the body.
- Eat a light snack one hour before exercise because the body requires the carbohydrate fuel for exercise.
- If your exercise duration is more than one hour then eat a fruit snack in between to build up your carbohydrate reserve.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Reduce sugar intake to not more than 6-7 teaspoons per day.
- Eat maximum fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Major Benefits of Exercising
- It is great for your body and mind.
- It is a great stress buster.
- It is the healthiest addiction in the world.
- It can be a great way to socialise.
- It is a great confidence and self image booster.
Exercise is fun and provides great many benefits for our body and mind. It need not be all pain and sweat. You just have to make an effort to be regular for about two weeks and you are likely to be hooked on for life! Just Do it, for yourself.
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About The Author: Colonel MM Nehru, is an ex-army officer and is currently settled in Merrut (India). He is a Personality Development Consultant, during his service he was a Selector for Defence Services at 17 SSB, Bangalore. He was also responsible for the Counter Insurgency Operations training of the entire troops deployed in Assam (approximately: 50,000 troops). He was an Instructor at the prestigious NDA(National Defense Academy) from 1988-91. He has Trained Services/ national/international level boxers, athletes. He has personally played Tennis at national level & still competes in veterans’ events.