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  Fitness & Weight Management

June 2011
Total  Mind-Body Fitness
Sonali Seth
Adopt work-outs that not just keep you physically fit but banish stress as well...

It’s been a frustrating time for Shreya. For the last three months she has been going to the gym and spends more than an hour doing cardio workouts that include the treadmill, cross-trainer and stationary bicycle. But after three months when she weighed herself she was in for a disappointment. She hadn’t lost the kind of weight she had hoped and worked for. And her stress levels had also not come down.

So, she decided to do what most disappointed people do—find out what was wrong with her workouts. The fitness expert told her that though general exercises build stamina, strengthen the heart and lungs and enhance the body’s endurance and efficiency, they don’t do a whole lot for weight and stress reduction. For that she would have to do things differently. The trainer suggested the following course corrections to her workout regimen…

Add Some Weight To Your Slimming
Research shows that when you combine cardio exercises with weight training, it impacts the body’s fats, glucose, amino acids, and satiety hormones, which results in natural appetite suppression. If you do just aerobic exercises or only weight training, the benefits are reduced to a quarter. It’s the combo that gives you a double whammy!

Life’s A Journey - Keep Walking
It’s easy, it’s free and it can be done at any age. Walking half an hour a day helps in preventing a host of physical ailments including obesity and blood pressure. It promotes the production of endorphins in the body that induce the feeling of euphoria and reduce the craving for food, thus giving a twofold benefit of weight and stress reduction and bringing about a feeling of well being. So you too should put on your walking shoes and walk a mile to bring a smile!

Take To the Water
Swimming is a complete exercise. Whether you are doing breast stroke or back stroke, butterfly or freestyle, every part of your body gets worked. According to the American Heart Association, just 30-60 minutes of swimming, three to four times a week, can help reduce stress a great deal. It cuts your risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Most fitness experts advise obese people take up swimming because an hour in the pool can burn from 400 to 750 calories.

The Cycle of Fitness
All you gym rats take note. Cross trainers, treadmills and multi-gyms maybe the fashionable fitness mantras. But don’t ignore the good old bicycle —because it is one of the most potent fitness tools and brings in all the elements of cardio-athletic workout that helps both in calorie burning and stress reduction. Studies show that you can lose upto five kilos in a year with half hour brisk cycling everyday. Cycling also produces endorphins and banishes stress, thus rejuvenating your spirits as well.

New age Fitness Tools
The inflatable Swiss Ball is a wonder apparatus that tones up your abs and gives you a flat stomach.Therabands and Tubings are elastic bands in varying degrees of resistance, which allow you to perform exercises for all muscle groups. The ball and bands effectively help you reduce weight and tone your body. They also help postural balance, core conditioning and improve flexibility, all of which in turn relax the body and the mind, promoting overall stress reduction.

Pilates: Total Mind-Body Experience
It's been called a miracle that can dramatically transform the way your body looks, feels and performs. Fitness gurus say Pilates builds strength without increasing bulk, creates a sleek, toned body with slender thighs and a flat abdomen. Pilates banishes stress as it emphasizes on proper breathing. It is claimed to be the most sensible exercise regimen that will help you look and feel your very best. No matter what your age or condition, it will work for you.

Power of Yoga
By now we all know why Yoga is so popular. Researchers and practitioners testify to certain yogic asanas like Bhujangasana, Swarangasana, Trikonasana, Kamarchakraasana, Dhanurasana and Halasana as the most effective way to deal with a lifestyle disorder like obesity. The yogic breathing technique called Pranayam helps build that cheerful body-mind relationship. Pranayam leads to meditation, which de-stresses the mind and rids it of all depressive energy.

Put On Your Dancing Shoes
If you want to shake your blues away and loose a few kilos in the process, then check into a dance class. Dance is an ideal way to lose calories and stay stress-free. It can give you a “high” of the natural kind. It burns as many calories as walking, swimming or riding a bicycle. It corrects posture and develops a grace and elegance in the demeanour. Yes, dance is an excellent form of exercise that is emotionally and mentally satisfying. So go ahead, shake a leg or two!


    
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