02 July, 2012

Article about me

An article about me got published today on Livemint. It can be seen on this link.

This is what it says.

Back in 2008, Kiran Sawhney was a woman on a mission. After marriage and the birth of two children, Sawhney, a Delhi-based fitness trainer, weighed in at a plump and unhealthy 85kg. In February that year, she began a dedicated programme to get back to full fitness—four months later, she had dropped an incredible 30kg for a toned and svelte look.
For most people, such radical weight loss usually spells danger, but not for Sawhney. “What I did was a methodical, step-by-step programme that involved serious cardio, a very nutritious and well-balanced diet free of harmful fats and simple carbs, and a lot of weight training,” Sawhney, now 42, says. “There was no crash dieting or starving involved.”
The secret to her success? Combining all the elements of fitness in the right proportion.

Add resistance: The right amount of weight training can give you a toned and shapely body and the perfect posture
Add resistance: The right amount of weight training can give you a toned and shapely body and the perfect posture

“Women have no problems with dieting or cardio exercises like cycling or running, but few want to pick up weights,” Sawhney says. “But weight training is invaluable. It builds lean muscle, which in turn increases your metabolism and burns fat.” Sawhney focused mostly on functional weight training, where you do lifts like barbell squats that engage all the major muscles in your body, as opposed to lifts like the bicep curl that work just one muscle group.
Why do women shy away from weight training? The biggest reason is the belief that lifting weights equals bulky muscles, and undesirable hormonal effects like increased growth of body hair. This is simply not true.

Weight training becomes even more important as women age. “Both your muscle mass and the density of your bones diminish with age, especially after 40,” Sawhney says. “Women are more susceptible to osteoporosis and arthritis. Weight training counters both these things—it increases and maintains bone density, and preserves muscle mass.”

Weigh your options
Train with a qualified person and give your muscles time to recover.
 It’s essential to get a qualified trainer to show you what exercises to do and how to do them. It is crucial to learn the correct form of an exercise while lifting weights—otherwise the gains are slow to come, and the risk of injury is high.
 Take your time while lifting. Most lifts don’t require you to jerk the weight around or to do countless repetitions as quickly as you can. This is usually detrimental. Instead, lift in a controlled manner, feel your muscles working. Inhale while lowering the weight and exhale while lifting, bracing your core.
 Always warm up with at least 10 minutes of cardio activity before beginning a weight-training session.
 Don’t do lots of repetitions with very light weights—there is little to gain from that. When you are just starting out, the best thing to do is pick a weight that will tire out your muscles by the 12th repetition of an exercise. You should be barely able to finish the 12th repetition. This provides the stimulus for muscles and bones to get stronger.
 Give your muscles time to recover. There is no need to do more than three 15- to 20-minute sessions of weight training in a week.
 Pick functional exercises—lunges, squats, deadlifts, cleans and bench-presses are good examples. These engage your entire body, which is what you need. There is no need to do exercises that only work one muscle group at a time unless you are a professional bodybuilder.
 Get better at body-weight exercises. You don’t always need weights for resistance training. In fact, it is ideal if you begin first by mastering body-weight exercises like the push-up, free squat, lunge and tricep dips before you begin training with weights.