July 7, 2017 09:59 AM NPT
The number of hours in a day seems insufficient while we try hard to maintain a balance between work, family, and studies. Meanwhile, maintaining a lean body, good heath and perfect figure becomes an impossible task. Everyone knows that good, regular exercise is the ‘mantra’ for weight loss. Yet the lack of time definitely hinders us from achieving that healthy body. The Week spoke to Niroj Lama, fitness director at Jasmine Fitness Club and Spa, Tripureshwor, Kathmandu to find out how we can lose weight despite our hectic schedules. Here, he shares his top ten fitness secrets.
Rise and shine
Mornings can definitely be fruitful in keeping our body fit. “Take out time for morning walks,” says Lama, “It is the key to lose weight and leading a healthy life.” Waking up early doesn’t mean cutting down on your sleeping hours. At least 6-7 hours of sleep in a day is essential. Food consumed in the morning should also be carefully monitored. Heavy and healthy breakfast is necessary especially for the people who have long working hours. Your breakfast must consist of cereals, dry fruits, and milk and one must avoid having oily food in the morning.
Utilize the staircase
One of the most effective ways to lose weight if you don’t have time to exercise is to avoid using lifts and being as active as possible. “Doesn’t matter if your office in on the third floor or the ninth, do not use the lift,” says Lama. Walking up and down the stairs is a very good exercise and plays an important role in weight loss. No matter where you go, whether it’s your school, college, shopping malls, or your apartment, using the staircase will help you strengthen your muscles and increase your metabolism.
One cannot lose weight without improving his/her eating habits. “Always be careful and conscious about what you put in your system. This way you will see a stark difference in your weight,” explains Lama. Avoid sugar in your drinks such as coffee, lemonade, and tea. Honey can be a healthy substitute for sugar and will definitely help you lose weight. Eating small meals at an interval of two to three hours is a good way to stay fit as well. These small meals can consist of seasonal fruits, dry fruits, nutrition bars, dark chocolates, digestive or sugar free biscuits.
Walk it out
Walking is a very good exercise that will help burn fat. For short distance travel, choosing to walk over taking the public transport or your car is definitely a healthy choice. The more you walk the more calories you will burn. And it’s not difficult to incorporate walking for short distances in your daily schedule. If you are desperate to lose weight but don’t have time to exercise, let this be your fitness mantra.
Embrace traditional Nepali snacks
A fast food culture seems to be slowing taking over our lives. However, Lama believes that not all food joints serve good quality meal. Hence, he encourages everyone to switch back to traditional snacks such as Phapar ko Roti (Buckwheat pancakes), Kodo ko roti (Millet pancakes), Dhido (Cornmeal porridge), Corn and Bhatmas (Dried Soybeans). These snacks are rich in protein and fiber and are very good alternatives for fast food such as French fries, momos, and burgers. Snacking on these traditional food items instead of fast food will definitely help you lose weight.
Mind your liquids
Drinking a lot of water throughout the day is definitely a good way to stay healthy. “If you tend to drink a lot of sodas, then try substituting it with water,” says Lama adding that if you find plain water boring then then add a slice of lemon to it. Lemon improves your metabolism and helps you in reducing weight. Also, sip green tea with every meal as it help you cut fat. Try drinking fresh fruit juices instead of the preserved ones. “The habit of drinking milk tea is extremely bad for health as it boosts various stomach problems such as gastric. Replace milk tea with black tea,” he says.
Correct your posture
During long office hours, we often tend to sit hunched in front of the computer. Good posture means teaching your body to stand, walk, sit, and lie with your back straight. Incorrect poster may lead to pain in the neck, shoulder and back. It may also have long-term health effects and even damage your spinal cord. Hence, according to Lama, correct posture is essential to stay fit and healthy.
The power of meditation
Meditation helps you be calm and can also lower high blood pressure. It is an exercise that keeps you focused on your work and manages stress. “Meditation can directly help you to lose weight as it helps you become more conscious of your thoughts and your actions including your food habits,” explains Lama.
Set your priorities
We often tend to ignore our health due our long working hours. “Your health is everything,” says Lama. “Your hard earned money will have no value if you are unfit and unhealthy,” he adds. There is an urgent need for every person with an extremely busy schedule to reevaluate their time and give health as much priority as their work.
Exercise at home
There are a few exercises that do not need a gym and can be done at home. Working out every day is extremely good for health. Activities performed in the gym are definitely intensive, most of which cannot be done at home. Yet, Lama suggests few exercises such as free hand squat, crunches, pushups, and stretching that can be done at home. These exercise combined with daily walks and meditation can help you lose weight despite having no time for a gym session.