Discovering what life is about

The best way to stay fit

..Below are the essential non-negotiable components of any fitness regime .Any fitness schedule that misses out any one of these six components would be incomplete. Overemphasizing one over the other is also wrong as a balanced approach has to be taken. “Moderation” and “Consistency” are the keys.

All one needs is max 1 hour/day which you should definitely be able to find. Based on my own experience and some literature and books I read I have tried to sum up the basics of these components below.


1) Strength Training


What is it and Why it matters :- First let us understand what it is not. It is often misunderstood as bulking up and building 6-packs ab and Salman like biceps for show-off. So most people feel that they don’t really need it. WRONG!

It is actually defined as a type of anaerobic physical exercise that by the use of resistance specializes in

>Increasing Muscular Fitness (Increases muscle strength, muscle mass and size)

>Increasing Bone Strength and bone density

>Increasing Tendon and Ligament Strength

>Improving Joint Function

Apart from these benefits in aids in health improvement ,increases metabolism, aids in fat loss, overall fitness levels ,improved lipid profile (improves the good cholesterol) etc.

Hence it is absolutely critical component.

How you can do It :- One has following options to do it.

a)

At Gym using various equipments :- You can perform it at GYM. All you need to make sure is that you need to have a good sensible trainer.

You may do it 2-3 times/week for an hour each.

b)

At Home using Resistance band :- This is another option that you may perform at your home. You may order the band online (Cosco is a good brand),some good videos (10 min-30 min) are available online to learn and do the exercises along with the video. Convenience is better in this option but the drawback is that you won’t have good control on the exact amount of resistance. But it can be done on days when you look for some light strength sessions.

c)

At Home using Body weight :- The 5 basic strength exercises – Push Up ,Pull Up, Dips, Sit-ups and Squats are key to overall strength. Rather than working on isolated muscles they work on large muscle groups. You may do these in conjunction with band/dumbbells or standalone also. You can also do exercises like Lunges, Mountain Climbers, bridges etc.

d)

At Home using dumbbells :- If you know the basics right you may perform the entire exercises that you do on equipments in a Gym at your home only. You can do good variations with just a set of 2 and 5 kgs of dumbbells using proper form and by doing the moves slowly. This can be started at any age by using a set of 2 Kg dumbbells and is often a most neglected part.

Don’t forget to warm up before starting the strength training sessions. You may like to wind up with a 5 min stretching session.


2) Cardio Exercises


What is it and Why it matters :- Cardio is any form of exercise/activity that is designed to work the cardiovascular system that raises your heart rate and breathing and consequently an increase in the circulation of blood and oxygen throughout the body for an extended period of time. Getting your body to sweat also helps you to release toxins that would otherwise build up in your tissues. The benefits range from weight loss, improved Heart health, improved Lung health, improved stamina, improved immunity, stabilized blood pressure,increased energy levels,more active and dynamic lifestyle, reduced mood swings etc.

How you can do it :- You may enjoy any of the below/club them/etc. to get the benefits. Go for a variety rather than repeating the same all the time.

a)

Fast Walking/Light Jogging :- Just go to a park nearby and enjoy fresh unpolluted morning air, get some sunlight and do fast walk/light jog to start the day.

b)

Treadmill /Elliptical machine/stationary cycling :- Good for those rainy seasons

c)

Cycling :- You may incorporate use of a bicycle to go to nearby places etc. or do it as a part of exercise weekly.

d)

Swimming :- One of the best cardio exercises. Just use googles and caps to avid the chlorine side effects.

e)

Aerobic Dance Workouts :- In Youtube you have some good videos that you may see and do along.

f)

P-T exercises :- Remember the school days. Those exercises can still be incorporated.

g)

Stair climbing :- Avoid lifts and take stairs.

h)

Rope Jumping :- Good if you enjoy it.


3) Flexibility Exercises


What is it and Why it matters :- Flexibility may be defined as the ability of our joints and body parts to execute their full range of motion. Flexibility deteriorates rapidly with a sedentary lifestyle and without adequate flexibility you are more prone to injuries and with tight muscles daily activities become difficult to perform. We create body movement and posture habits which tend to reduce joint mobility. The benefits of flexibility exercises are less back pain, increased range of motion, injury prevention ,improved circulation, less stress, better posture and confidence. A flexible body a flexible spine ultimately leads to a flexible mind which is more adaptive . Practicing Yogaasanas daily is the most perfect and easiest way to obtain a flexible body and a clear mind It would help one to tone the muscles, skeletal system, nourish the body tissues and burn fat. It is excellent for all internal organs and various yoga asanas target specific parts and organs of the body like vertebra, Joints, neck, shoulder, heart, lungs, kidney etc. It will also improve your balance both physical and emotional.

How you can do it :- As I have already written above that YOGAASANAS are the most perfect way to flexibility.. You don’t have to do complicated postures at all , just simple basic stretching asanas have to be done with awareness of breath. You really have to be at ease during each posture and you shouldn’t feel any pain. One very good 22 minute video is that of a sequence called “Padmasadhna” which consists of 12 yogaasanas, it is taught in Art of living advance course but can be easily practiced by anyone. You may also learn asanas from any yoga instructor near your place, but you can learn simple asanas yourselves with videos.One video called Shilpa Yoga is also very well designed. Below are some common asanas which you can simply google :-

a)

Lying Asanas:-Ardha Halasana,Sethu Bandhasana,Naukasana,Makarasana,Shalabhasana,Bhujangasana,Dhanurasana,Kativakraasana and shavasana

b)

Sitting Asanas :- Vrajrasana,Parvatasana,Shashankasana,Marjariasana,Vyaghrasana,Janu Shirshasana,Gomukhasana,Padmasana,Budhkonasana and Adho Mukh Shvanasana

c)

Standing Asanas:-Tadasana,Prishtasana,Padhastasana,Vriksasana,Natrajasana,Utkatasana,Trikonasana,Veer Bhradraasana,Konasana and Kati chakrasana.


4) Breathing Exercises


What is it and Why it matters :- Breathing exercises are basically an activity that would involve taking breaths consciously. Every emotion has an impact on our breath eg when we are happy and relaxed we breathe deeply, when we are in anger we automatically take short breaths etc. Now our motive is to control these emotions/feelings but we often find ourselves not able to keep them under control. The best way to achieve this is through control of breath ,when we do breathing exercises and learn conscious breathing we are able to control our emotions as well, it’s like a remote control to our emotions. If we observe ourselves there are two type of actions a) Voluntary b) Involuntary. Voluntary actions are the ones that we do consciously like talking, walking, moving our hands, eating drinking etc. .Involuntary actions are the actions that are taken care of by the conscious energy that resides within us like conversion of oxygen to carbon dioxide by our cells, digestion of food, pumping of blood by our heart ,all cellular actions etc. The thing with breath is that when we are not aware of it, it is involuntary but when we become aware of it and start breathing with awareness it becomes voluntary and we can control it. Hence it is a transit between Voluntary to Involuntary, Known to Unknowable, manifested to Unmanifested it is a jump into the divine. Hence breathing exercises or pranayama have found an unique place in our Vedas, yoga pradipikas, yoga sutras and more recently in Medical Science as well .

Our lung function is obviously improved and more quantity of oxygen reaches and nourishes every single cell that restores health, youthfulness and cheerfulness.

How you can do it :- They may be classified as the nature of breaths we take

a) slow/deep/long breaths eg Anulom Vilom & Nadi Shodhan (Alternate Nostril Breathing), Deep Ujvai Breaths,3- Stage Pranayama, Simple Deep Breathing, Abdominal Breathing

b) short/rapid/quick blasts of breaths eg. Kappal Bhatti,

c) cyclic rhythm including a blend of both eg. Sudarshan Kriya as taught in the Art of Living


5) Meditation


What is it and Why it matters :- Meditation is actually “Doing Nothing”. You just sit with eyes closed and just as a witness observe your own thoughts without judging without comparing without imagining, without labeling. It gives us deep rest, far deeper than what sleep offers you. Meditation makes you more Dynamic, more lively, more focused, improves your concentration, improves your happiness quotient, highly raises your healing power. Other benefits are

>Keeps you stress free

>Reduces aging

>Helps you to appreciate life more

>Helps you feel more connected

>Improves Brain Function

>Helps you give good sleep

>Increases Immunity

>Increases your awareness and attention

>You gain control over your mind

In this 10 minutes you would realise that how our mind exaggerates and magnifies small problems in life and that you have immense potential to face all challenges of life. The most important realization that occurs is that actually no incidence or no person or no situation is joyous or sorrowful, it is actually the “SELF-TALK” that we do with ourselves is the source of joy/misery. After that even when situations come which tend to make you tensed/stressed by positive self-talk you increase the power of the self and don’t let the negative talks of mind over power you.

We develop love and compassion with others and let go of our habit of Criticizing, complaining and comparing.

How you can do it :- Meditation should be practiced daily for around 10 minutes. Some guided meditations are available online. You just need to listen to it and let go. You don’t have to do anything, just listen and relax. Initially guided meditations are beneficial, slowly once you get the basics you may not actually need them. You can simple sit and meditate. Just remember that it is not concentration, it is de-concentration.

We just have to make a schedule for ourself and then stick to it remembering that “ Self Discipline” is the only thing that makes someone miserable/blissfull,healthy/unhealthy,strong/week.


6) A Balanced Diet


What is it and Why it matters :- Just remember the basic fact that “You are what you eat”. You would need to get all your macronutrients (carbohydrate, Protein ,fat and water) and all your micronutrients (Vit A, Vit B Complex (B1,B2,B3,B5,B6,B7,B9 and B12),Vit C, Vit D, Vit E,Vit K,calcium,magnesium,iron,zinc,selenium,phosphorous etc ) in order to allow your body to function optimally. I would advise just spend an hour on internet and surf about these nutrients.

How you can do it :- First let us discuss about some basic points related to diet :-

a)

Mindful eating and chewing each bite till it turns liquid : - Eat mindfully with thankfulness and chew each bite at least 64 times that enhances digestion and nutrient absorption.

b)

Avoid all Fried Products (Samosa, Vada, Pakoda, Papad etc.), All Maidaproducts-Bread , Paw , Naan , Tandoori Roti made of Maida , Bakery Products , Maggi ,Noodles etc., All Packet Food- Farsana , Mixtures , Chips , Kurkure, Ready to eat products , etc., All Fast Food- Pizza , Burger ,sauces, Junk Food , Hotel Food ,KFC, Mc Donald’s, Chinese Food etc., All Fatty Food-Butter , Cream , Peanut Butter, Nutrilite , Mayonnaise etc

And especially for phenytoin you have to stay away from all sodas and cold drinks also.

c)

Refined White Sugar :- This is the most dangerous food item on our shelves .It is rightly termed as “White Poison” by nutrition experts. Completely eliminate the use of refined white sugar. Date Syrup, Honey and Jaggery are better alternatives as they contain important nutrients , although they should also be consumed within limits as they have high Glycemic Index. Avoid All sugarProducts- Sweets, Cold Drinks ,Chocolates ,Biscuits, Ice-creams, Pastries, Cakes, Tea, Coffee etc.

d)

Fruits :- Include seasonal fruits a part of your daily food list. Definitely include Guava or peru (for highest Vitamin C), Awla (for highest antioxidants) , Carrot ( for highest vitamin A) daily. Additionally have fruits like pomengranate ,oranges,papaya,banana,apple etc. You should aim for 2-3 servings/day

e)

Grains :- Go for variety,don’t restrict you to just one.Ideally try to have one grain only once per day .Have wheat,brown rice,white rice,wheat,ragi,jowar,bajra,Makai.

f)

Pulses and Legumes :- Select from wide variety of Moong,masoor,arhar dals etc and beans like kidney beans soya beans,chick peas etc as they are high in protein content.

g)

Omega 3 Fatty Acids :- Extremely critical to be included in the diet on daily basis. Flaxseeds, Walnuts , Fish and cod liver oil are good sources.You may occasionaly use a cod liver oil supplement

h)

Acid-Alkaline balance :- Almost all cooked food tend to have an acidic effect on the body. Try to include raw fruits and vegetables daily to restore the balance.

i)

Seeds and Nuts :- Include them daily in your diet plan. Remember to soak the nuts (including peanut ) as un soaked nuts have very high amount of phylates that interfere in Iron absorption.

Nuts – Almonds, Walnuts, Peanuts, Dates, Raisins,

Seeds – Flaxseeds, Sesame seeds(in winter) , Sunflower seeds, Chia seeds, Basil seeds , Pumpkin seeds.

Include some roasted gram (Chana), Sattu drink and handful of Sprouts in your daily diet plan.

j)

Cooking Oil :- never use a single cooking oil all the time. Use a blend of cooking oils, have one for breakfast, another for lunch and another for dinner. Aim for varieties of which one is high in MUFA, one high in PUFA and one which has both in balance .Just see the labels of the cooking oil. Use olive oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, mustard oil ,groundnut oil, safflower oil, rice bran oil, coconut oil etc. and keep shuffling between them. The daily intake should be restricted. Ghee could also be used wisely in some quantity. The important thing to remember is that never eat FRIED foods and cook vegetables in less quantity of oil .

k)

Ayurvedic Herbs :- Use herbs in medicinal form occasionally to boost immunity. Eg Tulsi, Neem, Triphala, Ashwagandha, Guduchhi etc.

l)

Veg Vs Nonveg :- Its totally a personal choice. Whilst Non Veg food are rich sources of nutrients like protein and iron they do have an array of drawbacks. One has to decide for himself. I benefitted hugely by switching to being vegetarian from part 3-4 years.

Needless to mention in the above list that Alcoholic Products, Cigarettes, Tobacco etc. are a Big NO! Remember that our body is the temple where God resides in the form of our soul/consciousness/energy whatever we may like to call it. We are all divine beings and this body is a precious miraculous gift from divinity to us, we should never disrespect it by the intake of such products. “We are not human beings on a spiritual journey , we are spiritual beings on a human journey” hence the best way to show gratitude to divinity is by taking care of your body!

The above components if integrated properly would surely raise the self-healing abilities of your body. Just have faith that there is a cosmic intelligence that has fine-tuned the entire universe eg. mass of electron, gravitational constant, electromagnetic constant, distance between earth and sun, composition of air that we breathe and millions of such parameters had to be exactly the same as they are for you and me to exist. Within our cells lies the same intelligence that is driving billions of galaxies. Each cell has the same intelligence by which it is able to perform such complicated functions with such an ease. Each cell in the body is like an universe in itself. This intelligence is working all the time within you and can definitely re fine tune the parameters of your body that have gone out of order. Just set your priorities right and you can surely manage one hour/day ,let these things be an integral part of your life like you brush your teeth, you bath these also shall be included in your daily routine.

 

I belong to you ! Thanks.

 

 


 

 

 

Ref : https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-best-way-to-stay-fit

 

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