Fitness

Rule for beginners

As a rule, all beginners who wish to start gymming regularly need to have a goal and commitment to turn up everyday for their sessions. Regularity and purpose ensures that the mind has a path to follow and can push the body to achieve better results

WORDS: JOJO VARGHESE

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Initial Preparations
There are three steps for initial preparation;
• Set aside enough time
• Try and have a plan
• Be realistic

Set aside enough time
From the very start, schedule enough time for training. Trust us, people getting this wrong is one of the main reasons they do not progress in the gym.
Top personal trainers say that not giving enough time to the training commitment (or eventually letting other developments in their lives cut into it) is showstopper.
“First and foremost, prioritise the habit of exercising regularly,” says personal trainer, life coach and author Mike Campbell. “Initially it doesn’t matter what you do in the gym – just establish and strengthen that habit. The rest can and will flow from there.”

Try and have a plan
Susy Natal, a Sydney-based personal trainer, says that “success in your fitness journey will come if you have a specific goal, backed by a plan and structure”.
Natal says that at many gyms, we can see many people who are there and doing nothing, wasting their valuable time. For beginners, they must have a clear plan and structure for their workout. Trainers have to be more careful for beginners and they have to make them understand that when you are in the gym, do not

waste time and just concentrate on your workout.
“Invest in a training programme so that you always know what you have to do when you get to the gym, and to ensure that what you are doing is tailored to suit your body, level of experience and specific fitness goals,” she adds.

Be realistic
Not always, of course, but to make big changes in your life to drop body fat, gain muscle, improve fitness dramatically and so on, requires a lot of patient and consistent hard work.
This isn’t going to be easy, yet most people want a quick fix and the work done for them. The sooner you can embrace the struggle and the fact that it’s going to be hard, the sooner you can consistently apply yourself to getting it done.Jojo Varghese is a fitness coach. He can be contacted at vj9483@gmail.com or (+91) 8511333884

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The condition of being physically fit and healthy

Every day is another chance to get stronger, to eat better, to live healthier and to be the best version of you” – Anon

WORDS: JOJO VARGHESE

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What is fitness?
Fitness is the condition of being physically fit and healthy.
The US Department of Health and Human Services defines physical fitness as “a set of attributes that people have or achieve that relates to the ability to perform physical activity”.

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This description goes beyond being able to run fast or lift heavy weights. Despite being important, these attributes only address single areas of fitness. This article provides details of the five main components of physical fitness.

When it comes to fitness, these components include:
Cardiorespiratory fitness – Typically measured by how long or fast a person can perform an activity and how this impacts measurements such as heart rate and oxygen consumption.

You can include these activities in your daily exercise:
 Swimming
 Brisk Walking
 Jogging
 Cycling

Muscular strength – Typically measured by how much weight can be moved in relation to repetitions.

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Exercises involving multiple joints and muscle groups such as squats or bench press are often used.
Muscular endurance – Measured by how many repetitions of an exercise a person can perform. Common tests involve push-ups and sit ups.
Body composition - This is the amount of fat on the body versus other tissues such as muscle, bones and skin. It is measured using a variety of tests and devices. Simple tests using mathematical equations or calipers are common and inexpensive. More advanced tests such as underwater weighing are far less common and much more expensive.
Flexibility - Measured by how far a muscle group can be stretched or a joint can be moved. The most common tests involve the hamstrings and shoulders.
So, you can tell if someone is physically fit by determining how well they perform in each component.

Jojo Varghese is a fitness coach. He can be contacted at vj9483@gmail.com or (+91) 8511333884

How to choose a suitable fitness trainer

Purpose of personal training

WORDS: JOJO VARGHESE

Employment characteristics
Personal trainers may specialise in a certain training type, training philosophy, performance type or exercise modality. In general, most trainers develop exercise prescription and plans for aerobic and resistance exercises and flexibility training.
For aerobic exercise prescription, personal trainers determine the type, duration, and frequency of exercise. For resistance exercise prescription, it is the type of exercise, total session volume, rest period, frequency, and intensity.
Personal trainers may also be involved in prescription of stretching routines or other approaches. They help clients exercise with correct techniques, minimising the risk of injury.

What does a personal fitness trainer do?
Personal trainers are experts at helping others to achieve their highest possible level of fitness and well-being. Trainers work with clients one-on-one or in small groups to help them safely meet their goals.

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Whether the desired result is weight loss, injury rehabilitation or management of a chronic condition like heart disease, the trainer has the knowledge and skill to keep the client moving forward.
Let’s see what some common duties of personal trainers are:-
» Screen client’s health and fitness levels prior to starting exercise
» Develop personalised training programmes
» Teach proper exercise techniques, and guide clients through exercise, including cardiovascular conditioning, strength training and stretching
» Provide motivation to help clients keep consistent
» Monitor individual progress and adapt the programme as needed
» Educate clients about fitness, weight loss, strength training and other fitness related topics
» Provide first aid in emergencies
» Sell gym membership, training packages and classes
» Provide clerical and customer service support especially at small facilities

Precautions to be taken during summer

Summer is the season when we need to take utmost precautions. Although we should always take good care of our health round the year, in summer we need to take even more precautions of our body and health. Irrespective of any season we must follow certain good practices towards our health.

WORDS: JOJO VARGHESE

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DURING summer we have to drink more water. It will help us regain the energy level of our body, to relieve fatigue, reduce body weight and to flush out all the toxins from our body. So drink 10 glassesof water daily.
During summer try to eat less spicy food as it will harm your stomach and you will face difficulty for digestion. Try to eat fruits and vegetables and make vegetables with less spice.
Try to drink one glass of butter milk daily after your food asit will help you cool the body. Curd is another important food for summer. Eat as much as you can. You can have the same with your breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Add more vegetables and fruits in your daily diet plan. It will help you to reduce the heat of your body and give you more proteins.
Include bananas, watermelon, oranges and papaya in your daily diet. Try to eat watermelon daily after your dinner. It will give more water for your body.
If you are coming from outside, don’t drink chilled water as it will harm you.

Do keep a pot in the kitchen or your bedroom and try to drink it frequently. If you want to keep the water cool, cover the pot with a wet towel.
Try to cover your face and neck with a cloth as it will help prevent sunstroke. Wakeup early and go for a morning walk for at least half an hour or an hour. Take light breakfast and avoid excess oily foods.

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Breathing is the heart of yoga

While most of us are aware of the importance of physical exercise and yoga, it is important to know that awareness of breath and synchronising breath and movement is what makes yoga, yoga. Read of the different ways the breath influences your yoga practice, how the breath and mind are closely connected and how this awareness of the breath gives us a tool to work with the mind

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Breath and Asana
When focusing on the breath during your asana practice, the control shifts from the brain stem (medulla oblongata) to the cerebral cortex (evolved part of the brain) due to you being aware of the breath. It’s in that moment, when we are aware, the magic starts to happen. The mind will become quieter and a calm awareness arises.
As a result, emotional stress and random thoughts are less likely to occur. So basically the whole system gets a break. The energy, the prana, begins to flow more freely pushing through any emotional and physical blockages and thus freeing the body and mind. Which results in the “feel good” effect after a yoga practice. So we can safely say that breath has an intimate relationship to the overall movement of prana (life energy) throughout the entire body.
In our physical practice breath also has everything to do with our structural alignment and the patterns in which we hold, perceive and move the body. Breath awareness can eliminate joint compression and other imbalances from one’s postures and attitudes. Awareness of breath is also the foundation for flowing seamlessly in movement through an Ashtanga Vinyasa practice.

Breath and Mind
If you have practised serious meditation, you will have noticed that when the breath moves, the mind moves as well. Of course, this works both ways, so as the mind moves, the breath moves too.
The breath gives us a tool with which we can explore the subtler structures of our mental and emotional worlds. When the breath changes, it tells you that something is happening in your mind.
This basically means that the breath gives us a tool with which we can explore the subtler structures of our mental and emotional worlds. When the breath changes, it tells you that something is happening in your mind. When something happens in your mind, like a disturbing thought, for example, your breath will reflect it back to you.
You will then understand that because the breath and mind are so connected, awareness and mindfulness of breathing can lead to insight into the nature of mind. This leads eventually to freedom from suffering.
Ujjayi breath
Now that the benefits of being aware of the breath within your yoga practice have been made clear, let us talk about the Ujjayi breath.
This pranayama is usually done in association with asana, unlike some of the other forms of pranayama. Ujjayi breath is the type of breath used in a Vinyasa/Ashtanga style of practice. It is the main style of breathing used when you flow and practise the more strenuous poses. When you start to cool down and move more into the relaxing poses, it’s time to let go of this way of breathing and to allow the breath to be more natural. Ujjayi breath is both relaxing and energising. Sometimes you may find yourself spontaneously breathing this way in deep meditation or during deep absorption or concentration.

How to practise the
Ujjayi breath
Close your eyes, imagine looking down the nose, softly smile and begin to lengthen the breath. Next, close the back of the throat a little like you do when you whisper something. You should now feel the flow of air moving through the back of the throat. Keep the mouth closed while you do this. The sound of your breath will be a little like the sound of the wind through the trees.
Listening to the breath allows it to fully flourish. Keep the sound and length of the breath the same on the in and out breath. Practise this type of breathing during your asana class and whenever else you feel like it.
(Courtesy: Ekhartyoga.com)
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The difference between Bodybuilding and Fitness

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Fitness and bodybuilding are the most commonly used terms around us these days. However, many people consider fitness and bodybuilding to be the same thing; but they are two extremely different approaches to fitness.
One set of people working out these days are looking at increasing muscle mass for aesthetic reasons/ increasing stamina. High muscle weight improves power and basis the workout chosen also improves agility and speed. On the other hand, majority gym goer’s priority is to stay in shape without bulking up by increasing muscle mass and body weight.

Bodybuilding Vs Fitness Workouts

Bodybuilding encompasses lifting heavy weights to develop strength and muscular size.
Those lifting for size usually work towards the ‘pump’. This technique helps bring oxygen and nutrients to your muscles via a strong blood flow. Bodybuilders look at creating microscopic tears in the muscles forcing the body to repair breakages and expand storage capacity, resulting in bigger muscle growth.

Strength training is primarily high weight – low reps, strengthening the muscles, reinforcing the joints, hardening the bones, while developing stronger connective tissue are some of the goals of many muscle-heightened workouts.

Training Differences
Bodybuilders do not indulge in cardiovascular exercises or reps with a low amount of weights. Their focus is to push their bodies to the maximum by lifting weights that push them to the limits by touching their breaking point that is the point where they literally cannot do another rep-round. During recovery time, the ‘failed’ muscles rebuild and become stronger.
Fitness enthusiasts generally aim to be healthy and in shape. Trainers are not overly concerned about having bigger muscles as long as they are looking their best in front of the camera or at competitions. Workout models spend more time crafting the major muscle groups across their bodies. They will craft a perfect six or eight pack abdominal and pay attention to the legs and glutes. Compared to bodybuilders, their workout routines are generally shorter and more intense. They spend half of their routine lifting weights and the other half doing cardio. To create phenomenally toned muscles, fitness buffs usually carry out a high number of reps with smaller weights.
Another main distinction between working out and bodybuilding is the amount of activity each athletic-type requires. While a bodybuilding session may last around two hours, a fitness session, on the other hand, lasts 45 minutes. The former usually demands constant hard work for a prolonged period – usually five to six times a week. A fitness workout, however, requires less exercise with lesser efforts and muscle pull.
Both ‘normal’ workout and bodybuilding stem from the basic human desire to push physical limits and reach the

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ultimate fitness potential; thus making both of these athletic branches of exercise parts of the same tree. The only primary variance is the reason for training and the way trainings are carried out.

Jojo Varghese is a fitness coach.
He can be contacted at vj9483@gmail.com
or (+91) 8511333884

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