02 October, 2008

Human Body is a perfect machine. Let it remain so.

My clients often ask me as to what do I do for my fitness regime. Is it aerobics, or is it Yoga? Do I go for a walk? Do I always take care of my diet? Don't I have cravings?

My answer to all the above is- Don't unnecessarily complicate your life and your workout. Human Body is a perfect machine. We have, so much written about fitness. There are many fitness blogs and websites. Everyday we hear about a new fitness fad, new gadget and every day a new research comes up which tells that the previous one was wrong. There are contraindicated exercises each describing how 'A particular' exercise is wrong or harmful.

Reebok manuals always said that backward bending is wrong, ballistic stretching can lead to injuries, squatting beyond 90 degree knee bend can cause injury. I used to then wonder, Yoga has so many asanas involving backward bending. Are they alll wrong and to be avoided? I used to see Indian cricketers on the field doing lots of ballistic stretching (involving bouncing) with their trainers. Were they fools? Indian toilet seats used to require a person to sit in a full squat not just 90 degree knee bend. Was everyone getting injured?

Later, with my experience, as a trainer, I realized that, I should have a sound knowledge about the anatomy, physiology and Kinseology. When I prescribe a specific exercise, to a person, I should have a sound reasoning behind it. I should have evaluated its pros and cons. Yes, every exercise is not meant for masses but I have to evaluate a person's fitness levels, fitness goals, fitness interest, medical history, age, gender and based on that, I can formulate a program plan for the individual. If a person coming to me is already complaining of knee pain and problems, I might not even make him/ her attempt 90 degree squat. But if I see a person who has been training, has strong quadriceps and hamstrings and good core, then why would I not challenge him/ her to go for full squat?

Your own body is the best guide. It will tell you when to stop and when to push it further. Just listen to your own body. You may not even invest in fancy gadgets. Play with your own body resistance and gravity. These are the best tools.

Keep your diet simple. What is easily available, fresh, seasonal produce, is nutritious and healthy. Do not opt for processed, fancy foods.

Make your diet and your workout simple. Exercise for the love of it. Exercise because it makes you feel good, energetic, healthier, younger within. Do not exercise to loose 5 kg in one month. Exercise because then, you can sleep better, you look refreshed when you wake up, you stretch better, have a pep in your step, are free from ailments, have better skin. Exercise will help you to develop body awareness, strength, power, endurance and overall performance capacity. You can see a tangible improvement in your physique and the clothes that once tightly clung to you are falling off. Your friends and family can't take their eyes off you and are amazed at the transformation you've made. But if you want to burn body fat, it comes down to genetics, stress management, quality sleep and quality nutrition.

A good exercise program can enhance the effects of a healthy lifestyle, but it is only one variable in the equation for fat loss and health. Your training is merely a stimulus that helps you to reach your objectives efficiently.

For Lifestyle management, keep the following things in mind.

1. Quality nutrition
2. Stress management
3. Sleep
4. Smart training specific to your goals, interests, past fitness and medical history.

1 comment:

  1. Great advise. The best advise I ever heard in fact. What you're saying is so true. One knows one's body better than anyone else does.
    Thanks for this, Kiran.