Articles on exercise

Exercise 101!

Ms. Tehzeeb, Dietitian/Nutritionist
YES, the benefits of exercise are written on, heard about and perhaps all too overdone. Yet, here we are doing a quick and dirty summary for all you readers about 10 exercise basics.1. First things first, you need one! Yes, no matter your age, sex, geographical location, social status, body composition, we all need to workout. Exercise is an anti-ageing tool which means that it would make us look and feel younger. Now who doesn’t want that?2. It can be broken down into 3 components: endurance, flexibility and strength and a good workout would encompass all of these 3 componentsEndurance – In simple terms, how much your body can ‘ensure’ without reaching a point of fatigue. Examples include walking, jogging, running, dancing, swimming, tennis, squash to name a fewFlexibility- Flexibility training includes exercises for the purpose of increasing one’s range of motion and making the muscles more tensile. Excellent examples of activities that improve flexibility are yoga and stretching exercisesStrength- The maximum amount of force a muscle or muscle group can develop during a single contraction. Examples are lifting weights, using a resistance band, using your own body weight3. Pre-workout – Want to get the most out of your workout? Then you need to plan a healthy, nutritious pre-workout meal to better fuel your body for the exercise. Best to consume a fruit 30 minutes prior to working out. If working out post breakfast, lunch or a bigger meal, a gap of 90 minutes is recommended4. Post workout – Eating a meal after the workout is just as important as a pre-workout meal as it helps to replenish the glycogen stores that are used up during the workout. Also, a meal would help repair and recover our muscle tissues which have gone through damage during the workout. What you eat would largely depend on time of workout completion. If you workout in the mornings, then a breakfast immediately post workout would be a good idea. If evenings, then dinner5. Warming up – This is the first step to a successful exercise. It helps to raise the total body temperature and muscle temperature that is required for vigorous exercises and to prevent injuries6. A cool down – This allows for the gradual return of heart rate, respiratory rate and core body temperature back to pre-exercise levels. It also ensures that you don’t go through post-exercise stiffness thereby allowing for a more efficient exercise7. Consistency – 2 days a week for 3 months is better than 7 days a week for 1 month and 2 months of doing nothing and eating in front of the TV. No, we’re not telling you to workout less, we are asking you to be consistent with whatever it is that you commit to. This forms the basis of a healthy, lifelong exercise plan8. Drink up! Your body needs the good old H20 to refill back the fluid loss we experience due to sweating. So drink enough water during and after your workout9. Even if it’s 15 minutes a day, it counts. Some exercise is better than no exercise and 15 minutes spent on exercise would be 15 less minutes spent on your iPhone which is a complete win10. Baseline diet – So here’s where we actually come into the picture. A good baseline diet will serve many purposes (replenish glycogen stores, counter damage that body cells go through during workout). Below are a few elements that comprise of a good baseline diet:A fruit pre-workoutA wholesome meal within the first hour of finishing the workoutMinimal consumption of foods which are packaged, processed and deep-friedNo blanket bans on carbs and fatsSensible eating—no restriction, limitation, starvation.

Stair Climbing Exercise

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Running is a great exercise, but many people who don't like to run for multiple reasons: its too hot, its boring, don't have a good place to run, too polluted to run outside, running is not for me (even though they haven't tried it after they turned 8) and our favorite, 'I do not like to sweat'.So, try stair climbing as an exercise. Stairs are easy to access. Most of us live in cities with plenty of high rises around us. Even a 5-6 story building is a good place to start, or a stadium. Our homes, offices, malls all have stairs. So, there are plenty of opportunity to use them.Stair Climbing as an exercise: Walk up the stairs briskly. Take the elevator down and repeat. If you're in good physical shape, try running them. When you can't run anymore, keep a brisk pace walking up those stairs.  Its one of the best cardio exercises and its a great muscle builder. Running stairs or even climbing them briskly is a serious workout. Gets your heart pumping and builds those ignored leg muscles- the calves, quads, hamstrings and even the glutes. Stair climbing gives you great calves to show off your hot legs in shorts or a skirt and gives you a great butt. We all love a good butt :)Stair Climbing a complete fat scorching exercise and calorie burning exercise. Its short and intense- burns fat, builds muscle.Even if you enjoy running, try stair climbing for cross training. Since it really pushes you leg muscles, it helps to build them and improve speed.Stair climbing sounds daunting- try going up a couple of floors. Its not easy to start, but keep at it. When you see yourself getting hotter, you won't need motivation from anyone else!

Why Exercise Is Even More Important in Old Age

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Regular exercise can help boost energy, manage and prevent most ailments and even reverse some of the symptoms of aging. As you grow older, an active lifestyle is more important than ever. Exercise is good for your body, mind, mood, and memory.Starting or maintaining a regular exercise routine can be a challenge as you get older. There are many reasons and excuses to slow down and take it easy as you age, such as: • There is no point in exercising. You are anyway getting old. • Older people should not exercise to save strength and energy. • Exercise puts the elderly at the risk of falling or injury. • It’s too late to start. • Disabled elderly cannot exercise sitting down.The above excuses and reasons are all untrue. No matter what your age is or your current physical condition, you can benefit from exercise. As you age, regular exercise is more important than ever to your body and mind. Exercising has many health benefits, such as the ones mentioned below:Physical Health benefits:• Exercise helps older adults maintain or lose weight: Due to the effect of aging, body metabolism slows down naturally, which may lead to weight gain. Exercising can help boost metabolism and maintain body weight.• Exercise reduces the impact of illnesses and chronic diseases: Regular exercise improves the body’s immune response, helping in keeping illnesses and chronic diseases at bay. Along with benefitting the immune system, exercise also aids in better heart health and blood pressure, better bone density,and better digestive functioning. Exercise even leads to a lowered risk of several chronic conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis, and colon cancer.• Exercise enhances mobility, flexibility, and balance in adults over 50. Exercise improves your strength, flexibility and posture, which in turn will help with balance, coordination, and reducing the risk of falls. Strength training also helps alleviate the symptoms of chronic conditions such as arthritis.Mental Health Benefits:• Exercise improves your sleep: Poor sleep is one of the consequences of aging and quality sleep is important for your overall health. Exercise helps you fall asleep more quickly and a sound sleep.• Exercise boosts mood and self-confidence: Exercise leads to the production of a hormone called Endorphin which is also known as the happy hormone. This hormone can actually help you feel better and reduce feelings of sadness or depression. Being active and feeling strong helps you feel more self-confident as you age.• Exercise is good for the brain. Exercise benefits regular brain functions and can help keep the brain active. Exercise may even help slow the progression of brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.Here are some tips mentioned to get started safely:• Ask your doctor before starting an exercise program and identify what needs to be avoided, especially if you have a pre-existing condition.• Keep in mind how your ongoing health problems affect your workouts. For example, diabetics may need to adjust the timing of medication and meal plans when setting an exercise schedule.• Divide the workout into two 10 minute sessions separated by 8-10 hours.• Force yourself to stick to an exercise schedule.• Stay motivated by focusing on short-term goals, such as improving your mood and energy levels and reducing stress, rather than goals such as weight loss, which can take longer to achieve.• Stop exercising immediately and call your doctor if you feel dizzy or short of breath, develop chest pain or pressure, break out a cold sweat, or experience pain.

Regular Exercise Benefits Your Skin

Dr. Madhavi Pudi, Dermatologist
Regular exercises or physical activities keep our heart and lungs in good condition and help t,o reduce weight ; you & we; both will unanimously agree to that. But do you know it is highly beneficial for our skin too? Yeah, that's true. Exercise can make your skin glow, look young and healthy, but how? Let's get a broader picture;Benefits:1. Exercises increase the blood flow to your skin and helps in providing more oxygen and nutrients to the cells through out the body including the skin.2. Increased blood flow also helps to remove the waste products and cellular debris out of the system (Flushed out).3. Exercise reduces stress and in turn helps to improve those skin condition ( acne,psoriasis etc..) which are aggravated by stress.4. Muscle tone is improved with exercise which in turn gives a fimer and overall better looking skin.5. Exercise also promates blood circulation to the hair roots and scalpe, keeping them healthy .6. Exercise increases collagen production which is a protein involved in giving support and suppleness to our skinAre there any risks?1. certain skin conditions can be worsened by physical activity , examples being rosacea, eczema and psoriasis. Rosacea isaggravated by increase in body temperature and the skin flushing. The salt from perspiration can causes flare -ups of eczema and psoriasis.2.Ther is an increased risk of photosensitivity due to excessive sweating which may lead to sunburn and UV related skin damage when you do exercise in the sun. This may increase the risk of skin cancer.3. Tight fitting clothes & perspiration may irritate the skin and produce acne (pimples) which is called acne mechanica.But These are no valid reasons to stop exercise as the benfits outweigh any adverse effects it can cause. Besides , you could always go for some precautions ;1.Exercise in a cool environment (air conditioned room) . If you get over heated ,apply cool compresses to the problem areas soon after the workout . If you have to work out outdoor , use sunscreens liberally and avoid exercising between 10 am-3pm.Also protect the skin by proper clothing & hat.2.Apply moisturizers before workout to protect your skin from the ill effects of sweat . Dont' forget to apply them on the groin and underams.3. Take shower after exercise, but excessive washing need to be avoided. After showering apply a soothing moisturizer to prevent skin irritation .4. Wear loose fitting clothes which can absorb moisture.

How Much Exercise You Need to Lose Weight?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Many of us like to look at the number of pages a book contains before we start reading it. We guess the same psychology plays out when we want to lose weight. We want to know how much and for how long do we need to work for before we get the final results.As we all know there are no shortcuts in life but who’s to say there aren’t more efficient ways to reach the finish line? And that’s exactly what we are providing you with! Super effective and efficient exercise information which will make those extra kilos melt away.WHO says that a routine exercise involving 45 minutes or more can lead to proper weight loss, while we agree with that statement we also know that different exercises have different burn rates and help reduce different amounts of calories. So it’s time to concentrate on the most productive answers to the What, When, and How of exercise!We have prepared an abridged version of what it takes to lose weight and get that dream body. Below is a list of popular and common exercises which can be done by absolutely anyone in order to indulge in focussing weight loss.Brisk Walking: It is a low impact exercise, which does not cause any sort of stress injury. For people with obesity or heart issues, walking is an easy and effective way to start exercising. Walking will help you get fitter and help with reducing the symptoms of your health issues. It also helps in refreshing the mind. Brisk walking for 45- 60 minutes can help you lose up to 225- 360 calories depending on your weight. If you can continue this routine of daily brisk walking for 45- 60 minutes, you can lose considerable weight in a week.Swimming: It is another low impact exercise which has high output in terms of calorie burning. A one-hour swimming session can help you burn around 400 to 700 calories. It helps not only in weight loss but also helps in toning the body. It actually works on the whole of your body and helps you condition and strengthen the body. It is very useful for people suffering from arthritis, obesity, and other musculoskeletal conditions. An interesting fact about swimming is that when your body is immersed in water, your body is only bearing 10% of its weight, but the water provides 12 times the resistance of air, making it the best condition for strengthening and toning your muscles.Cycling: Another fun low impact exercises with high output for losing weight. When you cycle for one hour you can burn 372 to 1100 calories depending upon your weight, speed and the path you choose for cycling. When cycling you end up getting a full workout which involves strengthening your lower body and getting a good cardiovascular workout. It also helps in speeding up your metabolism.Running/ Jogging: It is a high impact exercise where you can burn up to 600 calories in one hour depending on your weight and speed. It helps in strengthening the bones and connective tissues. It also helps your heart beat at a healthy rate which in turn prevents heart diseases, strokes,and certain cancers. Just remember to wear a good pair of shoes in order to save your joints from unnecessary strain. Jumping rope: It is another high impact exercise which can help you burn around 800 calories in one hour. It strengthens and tones your arms, legs and core. It also strengthens the bones and joints. It also helps in enhancing coordination, agility and stamina.Step Aerobics: It is a super effective low impact workout where you are indulging into a good cardio session. A 45 minutes session can help you burn around 550 calories. It helps you tone the muscles of the legs and hips. Even your core gets a good workout and it helps in improving coordination. Step aerobics involves cardio routines that take the aid of an elevated platform.

5 Ways to Get Your Share of Exercise During Work Hours

Ms. Akshata Dorkadi, Physiotherapist
These days it seems important to log in long hours after idle hour with your buttocks glued to your chairs. Using the old “no-time-to-exercise” excuse is becoming a trend more than ever. Even short bouts of cardio, stretching and strength exercises in your office can help improve your fitness and health. We cannot promise a six packs abs with it, but this can surely get rid of your pain, improve your strength and burn a few extra calories. We have some sneaky exercises to a healthier and a happier work day. CardioBurn Calories not electricity!The Stair Master:Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Feel the real leg burn. If you work on the 8th floor and never ever taken the stairs, start with walking up 3 floors and take the elevator from there. Add in one more floor each week as a treat for completing the task. Slog and Jog:Instead of slogging for hours nonstop, take a mini break and jog on the spot. Pop up from the chair to admire the butt print on the chair, and jog at your desk. Want to huff and puff a little more, lift those knees closer to the chest. Do it for a minute and get back to slogging.The Wandering employee:Walking during working is underrated. Instead of dialling extensions and writing lousy emails, walk up to the cubicle of your co-worker and see the importance you get from them!Sneak into the Conference room:If you find your conference room to be empty, walk in through the doors like you own it. Stroll as fast as you can through the room. Make sure you keep changing direction around the conference table to avoid any hip pain.The Unauthorized Office ChairThe chair Swivel:Use your desk chair to swivel with your oblique abs. sit upright, let your feet hover over the floor. Hold the armrests firmly. Use your core to swivel the chair from side to side. Swish back and forth for 10 rounds. The “Weeee” desk chair:Everyone likes to play with their desk chair. While seated in the chair, position yourself at a one arm distance from your desk. Raise your feet slightly off the ground and hold onto your desk. Pull yourself towards the desk and push yourself back. Repeat 10 times or until you burn holes into the carpet.The desk squat:Start standing with your feet apart. Pretend as if you are sitting on your chair and getting back to business. Bend your knees slightly and the thighs are parallel to the ground. Touch your buttocks to the seat of the chair and push yourself back up. Repeat 10  times.Under the wrapsThe silent Butt squeeze:start toning your booty. Simply squeeze your buttocks, hold for 10-15 seconds and release. Repeat until they tire. The Kegels:Women can do Kegels. Tightening, holding and then relaxing the pelvic floor muscles (the muscles that control the flow of your urine every time you want to rush to the little ladies room).The Ab squeeze:Another silent deskercise, this one can be covertly be executed when walking down the hall or seated during a call. Simply take a deep breath and tighten the abdominal muscles, bringing them in towards the spine as you exhale. Stay squeezed for 5-10 seconds and release. Repeat for 12-15 reps.Be the Mr Deskercise guy instead of Mr FormalMr. DeskerciseTouch your toes:The old touch-your-toes are a great stretch for your legs. Pop-up of the chair put one leg on your chair and bend to touch your toes. I-do-not-know:Remember when you are irritated and you want to say, “ I do not know what the hell is going on around here!” Do the same. Shrug. Bring your shoulders close to your ears. Repeat it 10 times and get back to your screen.Reach for the sky:Sitting tall in your chair, stretch both your arms over your head and reach for the sky. Hold it for 10 seconds and do it again.The chair yogi:Sit facing forward, turn your head to the left and torso to the right. Feel the stretch and do it on the other side. Repeat.Drop a pen:What should you do if one of your coworkers finds you two feet away from your desk , stretched out, staring at the floor? You can pretend you dropped a pen. But it’s better to say, “Feels awesome. Try it!”The Fun Lunch TimeThe Wall Street Squats:When everyone has left for lunch, it's squat time! Stand against a wall, drag your back down while bending your knees till your thighs are parallel to the floor. Squeeze your buttocks and come back up. Repeat 15 times and head for lunch.Desk Push Ups:Lay hands on your desk. Incline your body in relation to the floor. Do 10 push ups. If you’re worried about getting sweaty during work – don’t! Doing five or even ten push-ups at a time is not going to make you sweat.Go for a 20 min walk post lunch:Go for a 20 min walk break after your lunch with your colleagues. Laugh. Praise. Share. Live. Make your workplace fun than boring. Try these fun bursts of a workout either by yourself or with few of your colleagues. 

Regular Exercise Can Affect Your Health for Up to 20 Years

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Most people include exercise in their daily routine when they want to shed some weight or gain some muscle. But did you know that regular exercise today can affect your health for up to 20 years from now.According to a study published in the journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise, new research from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany suggests that your health and fitness habits can predict the outcome of your overall fitness and health almost 20 years later. The researchers analyzed 243 women and 252 men who were an average age of 45. The researchers used a four-stage "biopsychosocial model" to pinpoint factors that could have an impact on future health and fitness. The first stage included environmental factors, such as socioeconomic status and migration background. The second stage consisted of personal factors, including social support, stress management strategies and the feeling of coherence. Behavioral factors, such as smoking, physical exercise and nutrition habits made up the third stage, while the fourth stage consisted of physical fitness and health. The researchers found that nutrition and physical exercise habits reported at the baseline of the study affected the fitness of participants during the following 18 years.To keep yourself healthy follow the following steps:1. Eat healthyInclude fresh fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. This will provide you with fiber, antioxidants and other trace elements which are necessary for overall health. Choose grilled, roasted, sauteed or steamed food over fried.2. Take enough sleepRest is really important for your body because lack of sleep can lead to disturbed physiology of your body. When you do not get enough sleep it may lead to cravings and an over-consumption of calories.3. Do your workoutMake a routine of working out at least 5 times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes. Exercise has many health benefits such as helping you in avoiding sugar cravings, giving you a toned body, burning fat, keeping your body’s organs functioning well, etc.4. WaterWater keeps your body hydrated which is really important for proper functioning of your internal organs. Drinking 10-12 glasses of water a day will keep your body hydrated and when fully hydrated, your body eliminates waste more effectively, which can quicken your digestive system and help you lose weight.So, make exercise a habit. It might start with the goal of losing weight or gaining muscle, but make it a permanent lifelong routine for its holistic lifelong benefits.

Is It Time to Change Your Exercise Routine

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Do you exercise, whether at home or the gym? If yes, then when was the last time you changed your exercise routine? If you say more than 6 weeks, then its time to change your workout. Wonder why? ... Read on to find out, why and how often you should be changing your workout...Think of a workout as a skill that you're body is meant to acquire. When you start a new workout, the exercises are challenging. Similar to when you learn a new skill, your brain has to work hard at adapting to it.After repeating it a number of times, you brain adapts to the skill. So, it doesn't have to work hard at performing it. Over further repetitions, your brain masters the skill, and the amount of effort your brain needs to make to perform this skill is minimal.Similarly, as you repeat the same workout a number of times, your body gets better at it. As your body gets better at performing the workout, it has to make less effort to do the same workout. With lesser effort to perform the same workout, your body burns lesser calories.So, the longer you keep performing the same workout, the lesser is the incremental benefit from performing it, and fewer are the calories that you burn, while doing it.If you stick to the same workout over a long period of time, your body hits a weight loss plateau. As hard as you try, that weighing scale just does not budge!Now, that you know why you should be changing your exercise routine, the question is how often should you change it?The real answer depends on your fitness level and the level of challenge that the workout provides. The fitter you are, the faster your body can adapt to new workouts.For beginners, six weeks is the time period over which your body gets used to your current workout. For intermediate level fitness, you should change it every 3-4 weeks. For elite athletes and extremely fit people, the change frequency can be as low as every 1-2 weeks.Wonder what to change in your workout? That could mean, changing the exercises, the sequence, the intensity, the format, the number of sets, repetitions, even the length of your rest period. You can change any of these factors to update your workout. If you need help with a new workout to gain muscle.So, if its been a while that you changed your workout, get yourself a new workout! Improve your fitness, lower your body fat and get a toned body.

Aerobic Exercise: 10 Reasons to Get Physical

Ms. Raisa Luther, Psychotherapist
Whatever your age, weight or physical condition, aerobic exercise is good for you. Find out why, get the motivation and get moving! How your body responds to aerobic exerciseWhen you indulge in aerobic activity, you’ll breathe faster and deeper. That means more oxygen gets into your blood stream, which in turn increases blood flow to your muscles and lungs.Moreover, your brain will release endorphins, a chemical that enhances your sense of well-being.Whatever you age or condition, physical activity will make you healthier and happier.Check out these 10 ways that aerobic activity can help you feel better and enjoy life more:Keep excess kilos away Combined with a healthy diet, aerobic exercise helps you lose weight and keep fit.Increase your stamina Regular exercise will increase your staying power, reduce fatigue and enable you to do more.Protect yourself from viral illnesses Aerobic exercise strengthens your immune system. This may leave you less vulnerable to minor viral illnesses, such as colds and flu.Reduce your health risks Aerobic exercise reduces the risk of many health risks, such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.Manage chronic conditions Aerobic exercise is known to help in lowering blood pressure and control blood sugar. If you have a heart condition, aerobic exercise will also help you.Lower cholesterol Aerobic exercise boosts your high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the "good," cholesterol, and lowers your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the "bad," cholesterol. This may result in less build-up of plaque in your arteries.Boost your mood Aerobic exercise elevates your mood, helps in fighting depression, reduces stress and promotes relaxation.Stay 'young' as you age Aerobic exercise strengthens your muscles, which helps you stay physically stable and mobile as you get older.Aerobic exercise also keeps your mind sharp Research indicates that at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three days a week reduces cognitive decline in older adults.Live longer Studies also indicate that people who indulge in regular aerobic exercise live longer than those who don't exercise regularly.Don’t rushConvinced? But remember to start with small steps. Especially if you’ve been inactive for some time, or have a chronic health condition, get your physician’s consent.And when you start, start slowly. You might walk for 5 minutes in the beginning and gradually build on that. Do not overstrain.What are the options? Walking, swimming, bicycling are some.Start today. And stay healthy tomorrow.

Reduce Belly Fat With This Exercise

Dr. Yogesh Kumar, Ayurveda
You have to admit that belly fat hanging around your belly is the worst enemy of your figure and it is very very hard to get rid off.Here is an exercise that reduce the belly fat around your waist.One should be well prepared prior to this exercise i.e warm up,hydration.For quick result,this exercise should be done in conjugation with diet.About this Exercise:In this exercise, breathing activated and strengthen the deepest abdominal muscles by simply doing contraction.If you’re doing this exercise correctly, you will strengthen the entire central part of the body and stabilize the spine which will remove the pain from the lower back and improve your posture. This technique of deep breathing and ‘suction’ air from the stomach is part of the Pilates and yoga, but you can do apart from these types of exercises. As soon as you wake up (ideally on an empty stomach, and while you are still in bed) lie on your back with knees bent and feet laid on the mattress. Inhale, then deeply exhale and pull your stomach so hard as you want to ‘clung’ navel to the spine. The more you inhale your belly it will be stronger contractions and efficiency of movement. Hold pulled stomach 15 seconds to start, and as you progress to extend the grip of up to 60 seconds. Repeat 3-5 times.When you are ready for a more difficult version of stomach vacuum exercise, you should do exercise kneeling on your knees and hands, sitting straight in a chair or on the ball for Pilates. After a certain time of exercise, you will be able to hold your stomach compressed while sitting or standing throughout the day.If you perform this easiest exercise for a flat stomach regularly, eat healthy food, you will see the results already for 2 weeks.