Exercise is essential but yet few of us actually do some form of it on a regular basis. This year, let’s make it a point to incorporate a little activity into our lifestyle.
To help you get started, The Week asked some fitness instructors about the one exercise they think you could take up when you are starting out. Here, they make their cases.
“Running is basic and effective.”
Rajesh Phaiju, spa and ayurvedic instructor at Tranquility Spa
Running is a very basic exercise that is accessible to anyone anywhere. It doesn’t need any special equipment or space and I believe that it’s one of the easiest ways to get your daily dose of physical exercise. Running burns a ton of calories, helps you get over tiredness, and decreases your chances of getting any kind of heart diseases. It’s a good way to clear your mind and is known to reduce stress and anxiety too. For people who want to tone their waist or burn excess fat from the lower part of their body, running is the best exercise. Even if you aren’t good at running, you could always start with some light jogging. Even that is considered to be a more intensive exercise than a lot of activities that you do at the gym. If you don’t have a lot of time to exericse, then I suggest you at least jog around your block a few times every morning.
“You will never get bored of circuit training
because it incorporates different moves.”
Ashok Maharjan, instructor at River Field Fitness
If I had to pick a single kind of workout to do for the rest of my life then I would pick circuit training because it’s a good mix of a lot of different types of exercises. You can alternate between a bunch of different handpicked exercises – each of which specifically targets a different group of muscles – and repeat that whole circuit a few more times. This way, you can incorporate cardio, strength training, upper body exercise, lower body exercise, and core exercise into the same session. You won’t ever get bored of circuit training sessions because you have to change your moves throughout the session and you can also replace the moves you don’t want to do that particular day with something else. You can do circuit training anywhere and it’s also not time specific. You can do a short 20-minute session on a busy day and catch up on your regular hour-long session on other less busy days.
“Boxing is good for developing core strength and stamina as well as aiding weight loss.”
Ajaya Joshi, kickboxing instructor and manager at Rage Fitness
Boxing – or kickboxing – is a very effective workout that melts a lot of body fat at one go. Unlike a lot of other exercises that focus on strengthening only one specific part of the body, boxing tones and strengthens your entire body because you have to engage a lot of muscle groups in your body. You will also develop core strength, stamina and endurance through boxing. Also, if you want abs in a relatively short period of time then you should definitely try boxing. Another surprising development that I’ve noticed in people who box regularly is fast reflex, not only while fighting or training but also in other aspects of life. The one drawback to kickboxing could be the fact that you have to be trained by a professional because it isn’t something you can perform and learn on your own. I suggest you find an hour everyday or every other day to attend a kickboxing class to strengthen your body.
“Surya namaskar is the only exercise you will ever need.”
Shristi Sitaula, instructor at Chakra Yoga Studio
Although it initially started as a way to salute the sun for providing heat, light and life to earthlings, this classic Hindu exercise is a good way to revitalize your whole body. Surya namaskar comprises 12 different yoga asanas and will tone and work to strengthen your whole body, help the blood circulation process, and improve flexibility as well. It’s also known to aid the digestive system, vitalize the nervous system, and strengthen heart muscles. It’s best to do surya namaskar early in the morning before sunrise but if you can’t wake up that early then you should perform it as soon as you get out of bed. Since it does not take up a lot of energy, you don’t have to eat before doing the exercise. Surya namaskar also syncs your body’s cycle with the solar cycle and that stabilizes your body and your life to a certain extent. And all you need for this is a yoga mat or something to cushion the floor and 20 minutes of your time.
“Anybody can do aerobic exercise and you can do it without an instructor.”
Shamsher Rana, fitness trainer and managing director at GenX Fitness
Aerobic exercise is very adjustable. So, anyone from a preteen to an elderly can complete regular aerobic sessions easily. You can also alter the intensity level of sessions according to your need. Since it comprises of a lot of physical activities like swimming, cycling, cardio classes, dancing, rowing, walking, and running, there is an activity that is suitable for everyone who is willing to try it out. Aerobic exercises are multidimensional. They condition muscles, improve flexibility, maintain body fat, and the best part is that you can do it without an instructor. Doing an hour long aerobic session regularly is a good way to keep your body fit and healthy. If you want a set routine for a regular aerobic session, I suggest you incorporate a few warm up exercises, cardio exercises, cool down exercises and stretching into it and carry out all of these to an upbeat playlist.