Cardio – Work your heart up

The word cardio literally means working upon your heart. Another term related here is ‘aerobics’, aerobics doesn’t means jumping around to disco music, it means with air.  Thus any exercise in which your muscles require an increased supply of oxygen, are known as aerobic, such exercises are known as cardio exercise too since it challenges your heart and lungs. Brisk walking, jogging, running, biking, swimming, skating, stair climbing, rowing, aerobic dance are few examples of cardio exercise, apart this any exercise that involves change in body position continuously making you breath harder than normal can be considered as cardio workout.  Continue reading “Cardio – Work your heart up”

Women should not lift weights – exercise myth

Hello girls! Wake up! Haven’t you heard that Men are from mars and women are from venus?! jokes apart men are blessed with testosterone which pumps up those muscles and women are blessed with estrogen which protects their heart, and THAT fact means a woman will never bulk up until she feeds herself with steroids.

You must have seen the female body builders with physic like men, have you notice their voices are also like men, because in order to bulk up they need to take a hormone named testosterone, which is not naturally available to women like men. A female body has capacity to produce testosterone is much lesser than men.

During maturation, women develop much less muscle mass than men. This means that an untrained woman has fewer muscle cells than an untrained man. This is especially the case for the shoulders and arms. Most if not all muscle growth in an adult occurs through increases in size of existing muscle cells, so the total potential for growth in a woman is less than in a man. That leaves women not be able to grow muscles like men without any stimulant.

A woman’s hips are typically wider than their shoulders, and their skeletal frame cannot hold lots of muscle like their male counterparts.  Because men have wide shoulders their skeleton can support more muscle mass in the upper body.

But that doesn’t mean women should not training with weights! in fact its the opposite.

Women should go for strength training because

  • weight training strengthens not only muscles but connective tissues and promotes joint stability there by reducing the risk of injuries.
  • Increasing muscle mass turns the body into a fat burning machine. And lowers the fat percentage.
  •  Strong muscles and connective tissues promotes stable joints which improves postures hence reducing the risk of postural distortions.
  • Increase in bone density protects the body from osteoporosis.

So girls no more excuses!!  Don’t hold yourself from benefits of strength training.

Do 100 crunches a day and flatten your abs ! Really ??

Have you ever asked your body to put on fat on just arms or thighs? Or maybe just on chest? Then how can your body take your wish into consideration while you do crunches to diminish that flab on the tummy?

The most common exercise myth is that we can achieve fat reduction from desired spot like belly or hips or thighs etc. You can find so many sauna belts, ab crunching machine advertisements   on tv and internet, they claim to reduce your belly within some hours!! Same applies to the person who thinks that doing 100 crunches or sit ups everyday can get him/her six pack abs! Or flat tummy! And what to talk about tummy tuck machines; they claim the same, flat tummy in few sessions. There lie so many factors behind fat loss, like diet, hormonal balance, your body’s adaption to exercise etc. And all of them work together to fat loss. The reality is by doing crunches and other core building exercises you might have built up great set of abdominal muscles (your six packs or eight packs) but they won’t be seen unless the fat layer diminished. And to lose that belly fat, burning more calories, putting on great set of muscles, plus healthy nourishing diet is important.

You will be surprised but stress is biggest enemy of fat around mid section. Stress causes inflammation in your body, which can interfere in body homeostasis (mechanism of balance of state). In order to correct it, our body releases the hormone cortisol, which accumulates water in the body that cools down the temperature and the same hormone makes fat to accumulate around belly.  To avoid this, keep your life as stress free as possible. And taking care of small things like taking adequate sleep at night, avoiding outside fried food, and just 20 mins of exercise a day can create wonders to our body.

Conclusion: Dont believe in overdoing exercise, consider your ab muscles similar as your biceps and  hamstrings,  just like them the ab muscles also require rest, so work on them not more than 3 times  a week and combine cardio + balance diet to achieve those magnificent six packs!

No pain no gain – exercise myth

Exercise – If no pain – No gain


Its true that both weight training and cardio vascular exercise usually involve some type of minor discomfort, such as feelings of slight burning or fatigue and moderate to heavy breathing. However, pain is entirely different. If you feel pain when you work out particularly joint pain, then you must be doing something wrong. Stop exercising immediately in such case and consult physician. Pushing through agony can lead serious trouble. If it checks out okay, seek the assistance of a qualified trainer, something is probably wrong with our exercise program or technique.

Many of us think that if you don’t feel pain, you are not working out sufficiently, which is not true. When we start working out specially in the case of resistance training, our muscles gets sore. After the exercise our body repairs it while we take rest and if we continue the exercise with the same intensity, within few instances our body will no longer feel pain, which doesn’t mean that we are not receiving benefit of exercise. It simply means that our body can handle the resistance or say our muscle is strong enough to carry out the load.

exercise is not just about wear and tear but you are gaining  kinaesthetic intelligence, flexibility, endurance, which are important for overall growth and the final result is “fat loss”.

Eat protein everyday and swell those muscles – really??


Once you start weight training, first advice from the trainer will be “EAT PROTEIN” if you want to build that muscle.. up to some point it is true that protein being the building blocks of muscle  it is required in adequate amount for the recovery and build of muscles. But just eating protein without carbohydrates and other essential elements, won’t work.

How body building works??

In order to lift weights we need energy and the source of the energy is CARBOHYDRATES. Now when we start lifting weight, the muscles will go under micro wear and tear, then body will adapt the situation and as a process of recovery, a new micro layer of muscle will be added to it, and if the process continues, the muscle will be denser day after day. In the Males it might bulk up as the testosterone is the driver, while in females, they will lean as oestrogen is the driver there. So it is true that adequate protein is required,, then what can go wrong??

HIGH Protein myth:

People who want to lose fat, are told to build muscle, and in order to do that, they cut off carbs from their diets and switch to high protein intake. Worst case some people replace their meals for protein shake!! Now when body needs energy and carbohydrates are not there, it will convert protein to glucose to be used for energy with the process named gluconeogenesis. Now the result is poor recovery status, since protein is not used for its service business instead used for carbohydrates. And even if the carbs are there,  unlike carbs or fat protein can not be stored in our body, so extra load will be bored by kidneys to excrete this excess protein.

How to Consume protein??

Add milk and milk products, dals, legumes, grains in your daily regimen along with sufficient carbs and other nutrients and have whey protein / soy protein (shake) just after heavy workout. With caution that total amount of protein should not be more than 1.2 g/lb of body weight.

Should you weigh yourself everyday??

should you weigh yourself everyday?

In the famous book ‘women and weight loss tamasha’ by Rujuta Diwekar, she has explained a humours incident, once she was asked to weigh herself on three different scales at her gym, (this is common practice to minimize calibration errors), and when she stepped from one to another, the scale showed number 500 g less than the first one,, with exhilaration she said “wow I lost 500 g without doing anything in just 5 mins!!”

This example says a lot , this numbers of weight alone can never be barometer of your fitness. Lets see this in detail. Weight of our body is majorly contributed by water – almost 60% of it.  And its level gets changing continuously, be it alcohol consumption, late nights, hormonal changes, or simply overdose of salt and dehydration too.  so it can be increased one day and would be normal the other day.  So can this be considered as a fitness parameter?? Does it give any indication about your health??

In some gyms there are practise to keep check before weight and after weight, this is entirely rubbish, for example one person has before weight x kgs, now he is working out for say 45 mins on tredmill, now he is full of sweat , he has lost some weight , about 200 g, now when he drinks 2-3 glass of water or sports drink, his weight is increased, so do you think he has gained fat?? Not really, in fact he might have lost some, but can our scale determine it?? No!! So weighing this way is big NO NO, its just waste of time.

So what is solution?? Should we throw out our scale entirely??

Here we will advice you to apply your common sense weigh yourself not more than once a week or so .  And don’t panic if your weight is not dropped after rigorous sessions of workout,, you might have gained lean body mass, which will eventually help in losing fat faster.

You can keep check on fat by measuring yourself with tape or skinfold calliper. BIA machines can also help if you check on the same machine in similar conditions (like same cloths, same meals time etc). And if the size is dropped with or without change in weight, be happy you are on right track!!

Stay happy!! Stay healthy!!



Top Exercise Myths Part -2

Lets continue our discussion about exercise myths

Stretching is waste of time.. Whether warm up or cool down.

It is important to increase the body temperature before starting any exercise and light movements or say stretching can serve the purpose, it prevents our body from injuries. Same applies to cool down.

If i exercise i can eat whatever i want.

Will you pour petrol in your disel car just because the car has very good fuel efficiency?? The same applies to our body, yes exercise improves the fat metabolism , meaning with exercise your body can assimilate the food better, but that doesn’t mean that you can feed yourself with wrong type of food.

Use fitness gadgets and lose all the fat.

Turn on the shopping channels on TV and find the ‘Sauna belt’, or not yet heard about ‘morning walker’? or top of all the ‘magnetic earrings’ which even cant be considered as fitness gadget. What does they do? Just make your pant pockets lighter, not your adipose pockets aka fat.

Cheers! Your cardio machine is counting the calories you are burning.

Compare the calories burned on cardio machines, just for example a girl weighing 60 kgs and another weighing 70 kgs, both will run on tredmil on same speed, for same time and the tredmil will show the same calories , but the girl weighing high will definitely be burning more calories.  So how would you determine the absolute calories burned by you??

Heart rate monitors will let you know how hard your heart is working.

Again one more expensive gadget, that shows how fast your heart is beating, which can easily done by talk test. If you can sing while you are exercising then you are not hitting enough. And opposite to that if you cant speak a single word and breath shortly then you might be over doing it. The correct measure is while you can talk but with slight difficulty.

Weight is ultimate barometer of fitness so keep the check everyday!

As we know 60% of our body is composed of water. and this water weight is the part of total body weight. This water level can change everyday and in fact it does. So checking weight can never become your mirror of fitness.

Eat all the protein on the earth and swell those biceps!

Protein is a building block of our body, but it can do it works only when your base diet is in place. That means if you provide carbohydrates, fat, vitamins and minerals then only protein can do repair works and makes your muscle stronger, but in order to lose the fat, if you deprive of carbohydrates then protein will be broken up to used as energy and not for repair works. So take your protein, but with the balance base diet.

I think we have covered major concerns related to workout. And it yields that don’t believe on such myths and believe on common sense. Eat healthy diet, workout regularly and see yourself fit forever.

Top Exercise myths

Here is the Scenario – we want to exercise or we have started already but confused about it?? what should we do – Weights or cardio? Floor exercise or machines? This diet or that diet? There will be 100 people giving you 1000 advices plus TV ads, magazines , online know-it-all blogs, etc. It can create utter chaos in mind. There are so many things that might prevent us from beginning an exercise schedule, some of them being about food and some related to workouts. These misunderstandings may lead to injuries or sometimes it prevents us from getting advantages of effective routines, listed below is the major myths. Lets take a look at those..

Do 100 crunches everyday and reduce belly fat instantly !!

Have you ever asked your body to put on fat on just arms or thighs? Or may be just on chest? Then how can your body take your wish into consideration while you do crunches to diminish that flab on the tummy.

Running on treadmill puts less stress on your knees than running on roads (concrete or pavement).

Any exercise that involves jumping action like running, jogging, skipping puts pressure on weight bearing joints like knees, lower back, ankle etc, Whether being on treadmill or road, garden or beach. So run or jump but with caution.

Machines are safer way to exercise.

if its a battle between floor exercises v/s machines then both have their own advantages over the other, for example self weight exercises like floor exercises can improve on our mind and body co ordination. And on the other hand machine limits your movements, and with wrong posture it can cause bad injuries.

The famous: “no pain, no gain”.

Its absolutely rubbish to think that if you dont feel pain, you are not working out sufficiently. Cause exercise is not just about wear and tear which contributes to pain, but many aspects like kinaesthetic intelligence, flexibility, endurance, are also important.

Exercise for at least 5 days a week or it’s a wasting of time

The important word here is regularly not daily.

Yoga is completely gentle and safe.

Dont do it under expert or you might end up with back pain , headaches and not to mention – sinus issues.

Women – never go for strength training, it will bulk you up.

Hello girls! Wake up! Dont you heard that Men are from mars and women are from venus.. jokes apart men are blessed with testosterones which pumps up those muscles and women are blessed with estrogens which protects their heart, but will never bulk her up until she feeds herself with steroids.

Home workouts are good but hitting gym is the best way to fat loss!

Again the important is to workout regularly, being at home or gym. And its proven that those who exercise at home are able to stick to it.

more on Exercise Myths in next article! please keep watching this space.

Before you Begin..

We all know the benefits of exercise, and we are ready to start! Congratulations,, well begun is half done! But before you begin, make sure your check list is marked!!

1. Set the goal

first of all, a very simple but the most important procedure should be finished before you start any exercise, that is to set your goal. Not setting any goal is like shooting a target with a blindfold on, how can you shoot any target when you cant see it?? you should be clear on your mind what do you want to achieve. Set specific and measurable goals.

2. Be Regular

here by regular i don’t mean “daily”, even just 1 or 2 days a week but be consistent for at least a month or two, and then you can increase the days upto 5 days a week, don’t be over enthusiastic to do all the work out in a single week and then do nothing for next 2-3 weeks thats not gonna work. Consistency is important in keeping muscle mass and stimuli of the body.

3. Keep it short and sweet

plan your workout around your schedule, if you dont have time to spend hours in gym, you dont have to even! A short but intense exercise like few rounds of “Surya namaskars” or a short jog on tred mill or skipping ropes, squats etc at home or gym for just 20 mins will give you all the benefits. Dont make time an excuse for not working out.

4. Shine it up

its been found in the research , that those exercise in the morning have greater chances to lose fat, behind it there is a hormone called “Leptin”, which controls fat metabolism. And this hormone responds great when you do exercise in the morning. So if you can manage it, the best time to do exercise is in the morning.

5. Protein:

if you cannot manage to have protein intake, its better not to do any exercise at all. Majority of our body is made up with protein and it takes large part in managing all the metabolic processes too. When you exercise your body goes under tears and wears, so if you are not taking calories and protein, these tears can not be repaired, that means no benefit of exercise if those tears and wears are not addressed. Whey protein has best biological values meaning it can be absorbed well by our body. Ideally it should be taken immediately or atleast within half an hour post workout.

6. Multivitamins

in today’s competitive age, we cant get stress out of our lives easily. These stress, anxieties, late night work, deadlines, frequent travelling takes toll on our body further, we don’t grow our fruits and veggies , it comes to us via cold storage and transports and it loses some of its vitamins before it reach to our plate, so to fulfil our daily dose of vitamins and minerals we should take multivitamin multi-mineral tablets.

7. Exercise wear

your skin should be able breath while you exercise, so always wear comfortable cotton fabric. And the most important tool is the exercise gear like proper sport shoes, as without the proper support , your weight bearing joints like knees and ankles could strain, and in that case exercise would cause damage.
so now check your list, get the things done and get ready to hit the road!!

The ABC’s of Exercise

It is may be today’s fashion – to wear fancy sportswear and hit the gym with branded  shoes!! But working out to keep fit is there since ages! Look back at the 400 B.C.E. , the greek physician Hippocrates (known as father of medicine) mentioned it in one of his works as “Eating alone will not keep a man well he must also take exercise” its like same thought in different centuries! And much more years before Hippocrates, our Rishi munis have shown us the way to better health, improved physical conditioning and increased longevity by given us heritage of “Yoga”.

So lets start with …

what is exercise??

Exercise is formally defined as physical activity that is planned, structured and repetitive with the objective of improving or maintaining a level of physical fitness”. Walking is one of the simplest form of exercise and best in its own – only when it is done seriously with the aim of “WALKING”. Those leisurely walk with friend gossiping over politics or bollywood can never help you to shed the fat!!

Why bother exercising??

Simply because ..

  • exercise makes you feel energetic and invigorated.
  • It helps prevent osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
  • It increases your balance, co-ordination, and agility.
  • It strengthens your bones and muscles, giving you the functional strength for everyday living.
  • It makes you look better and keeps you in shape, do exercise and invite those six pack abs.
  • Exercise releases some hormones like endorphins which makes you feel good, improves self esteem and provides more positive and mental outlook.

Overall it makes you feel better not just physically but mentally too!!
So what are you waiting for – start exercising today!