Part 1: Tipping point -Knowing you have reached your ‘worst’ or just being aware that you need to get into shape was covered here – The NADA (नॉडI) Impact!
Part 2: Healthy Habits
Fitness Myth: Running behind children will help in becoming fit
Myth Busted: Errr. Nooooo. Not unless you also exercise great control on the food intake. And also find another source of exercise. In fact merely running behind children will prove counter productive. This is because the amount of calories consumed will be far far higher than the calories burnt!
By the way I’m not equating fit with being thin. Again God only knows how many thin women are unfit.
With or without children just doing some basic running around without any control on other aspects of our life, will sadly have no impact on your fitness levels. Read any article on getting fit and talk to any expert, they are all in unison with regards to the importance that food has to play in getting you fit. Apparently the ratio is something like 70% food and 30% exercise that help individuals to work on their fitness levels.
Here are some ways to get moving and getting closer to being healthy (this list is courtesy my constant fitness struggles and having a very inspirational fit role model in my life – my sister). Should you have any medical condition, then please consult your doctor before embarking on any or all of the below.
- Be the Queen of your castle-
Sit Up Straight like a Queen would do. Ever seen a Queen slouch?! Posture is super super important. It really helps to start opening oneself up. While working at your desk or sitting for a meal – pull yourself up and straighten that back. By the end of a long tiresome day if your favourite position is slouching on that wonderful couch then resist that position and sit up. Really helps to pull that tummy in. And science is there to back the fact that a *good posture makes you more productive, improves mood and memory and brain. And lose weight!
- Stand on your own 2 feet!
Do not use the wall or table as your crutch; do not rely on one foot to take ALL that weight. Both feet planted on the ground equally. Head up, shoulders back and stomach sucked in (ALL the time).
- You become who you look upto!
Have some super fit role models in your life. No, not celebrities (They would have an army of personnel looking after their fitness), but a friend, a family member. If your constant reference points are other unfit people then your benchmark may not be very high. My sister is the fitness model in my life. And that’s a very high benchmark for me. She is super sexy and super STRONG. She didn’t get there by eating whatever and doing some basic running around. She works on her fitness– whether it is going for pilates or other funky training and eats very sensibly. So if she can, then it gives me hope that I can too. Hope is as important as is a great reference point.
- Never Give In.
This is my school motto and seems quite relevant at this point. Try not to give into your gluttonous temptations and do not give in too early into your fitness regime. It takes time but the results will surface. Have faith. Never Give In.
- Embrace Natural and Eat Local.
Reduce processed foods in your diet. Sugar, Salt and preservatives cannot be controlled in those. Eat lots of salad, fresh fruit, and organic vegetables. Try and go organic. No pesticides, no chemicals hampering our internal organs. Eat what’s local in your environment. That ghee or malai is not bad for you (well not unless you have it like I do – ghee laden, shakar-roti. :)).
- Less is More.
We may think we will faint if we have one less rice helping but in reality we won’t! When there is rajma chawal on the table, my mind switches off and then my pant buttons start to pop! Zero self control does no good but if you are like me then here is something that works for me. I do not keep ANY sweet / savoury snacks at home. When guests come home, these are ordered on the spot and then any left over is given to the help. Sure financially not the best option but I would rather be counting calories than rupees.
- Partner in Crime.
Ask a friend, family, loved to help you stick to your health regiment. They will be your accountability buddy ( buddies). Look for some strict ones (not the sympathetic mother or aunt who says “koi na beta, ek aur sevia ka bowl le lo, waise bhi kamzor lag raho ho” or “sevia se bahut energy milegee”), buddies who will give you that glare if you stretch for that extra pastry. But try not to shoot the messenger and get angry with them for stopping you or telling you that you are slacking in your goals.
- Share your secret.
Let the WHOLE world know about your fitness plan. The more who know, the more prying eyes will be watching every step of yours. Think of them as your Health Police. If you proclaim to everyone that you are going off coffee and then your health police catches you with a hot cuppa, you are likely to dump it or sip it rather sheepishly. This is especially important when you go through a low day and want to succumb to that chip packet or that decadent dessert.
- Sugar Sugar…No No NO.
I LOVE sweets and then I went and married a person who could MARRY sugar. Bad Bad (but very sweet) combination. But somehow if you can muster up some courage from somewhere and eliminate (I mean annihilate) sugar, your body and mind will forever be grateful to you. I tried it for a month (didn’t touch anything sweet including sugar, honey or any other sweetener). The first couple of days I thought I would die (no jokes) but somehow I persisted. Kept myself occupied, had loads of water and switched channels the moment I saw a chocolate advertisement. After the initial couple of days, it was a breeze to follow a no sugar diet. I felt better and fresher- no sudden sugar rush, and lost some kilos in the bargain. **Sugar also doesn’t let you age gracefully.
- DINE with the fit–
Imagine this scenario -One couple with whom you merrily double your portion because they love to eat in abundance and encourage you to do the same ( and of course we love to eat, that little extra encouragement is all we need to overeat 🙂 ); and the second couple make you feel sheepish to take that extra toast. Who do you think will help you to reach and maintain your fitness goals? Yes. Yes. Once in a while its good to indulge but when that becomes a regular phenomenon then it just doesn’t fly. So either chose your dining partners wisely or eat alone. 🙂
Since you are still with me, I’ll throw in one last habit for you, bonus 🙂
- The last SUPPER–
No, this doesn’t mean EAT AS IF its your last meal in life. 🙂 Your last meal of the day should ideally be a couple of hours before you sleep. Anything between 6:30-8:30 should be good. Try it and you will wake up feeling fresher and lighter the next day. The scientific reason is that your digestive system also needs some rest so if you eat late and then sleep, you are not really giving your system to rest, recuperate and repair itself for the next day. If we do not let our tummy rest then it will take revenge and come out with an even bigger bulge. Don’t anger that waistline anymore than required. Give your organs a well-deserved break.
Having covered some important bases, the main point is that fitness needs to become A WAY OF LIFE with some ‘cheat days’ but not the other way around.
Picture Courtesy: http://personalexcellence.co/quotes/files/inspirational-quote-body.jpg