26 November, 2010

My article in India Today

An Article about me got published here. in wonder woman of India Today

Following is the article.

Made a commitment to get some exercise into your routine? Before you head to the market to get the equipment, read through this buyer's guide.

It's ironic, but the more busy, stressed and tired you are, the more your body actually needs exercise to continue functioning normally. The endorphins kick in, your general fitness goes up and you can do much more. The good news is that getting started doesn't require fancy gym memberships or personal trainers; it requires a commitment to health and some basic equipment. The challenge? The market for health equipment has exploded, making it easy to get caught in a retail maze. So, do your homework before you set out to buy...
What's your goal?
Are you looking to lose weight? Do you want a more toned, fit body? Or are you keen to push up your energy? Often, your goals will be a combination of all three, but to choose specific equipment, you need to prioritise, unless you have the space and resources to buy a variety.
What are you willing to invest?
Time, money, space and effort are your investments. Time doesn't play a role in deciding equipment, but the others do. How many family members will use the equipment? How much space do you have? How much can you invest? 'People look at TV commercials for equipment, and assume that pricier is better,'
says Delhi-based personal trainer Kiran Sawhney who runs Fitnesolution. 'But you don't need elaborate gadgets to be fit. If you don't have joint or knee issues, for example, a simple skipping rope is a good start.' Tips you can use
Get (free!) pro advice
Most reputed gym chains offer free trials for a day or two. Check it out; also chat with the fitness trainer to understand what your workout should be to achieve your fitness goals - for free. Make sure you try out the kind of equipment that you can use at home. Here is what you need to keep in mind, going forward.
If you hate it, don't invest
'I hate to walk,' says Nandita Chawla, 39, a Delhi-based homemaker, 'but I bought a treadmill for exercising in my house, thinking that the machine would make me enjoy the activity - after all, the machine draws the most crowds at any gym! Turns out, I still hate to walk, and the treadmill blocks space we can't afford it in our guest room!'

While you will no doubt have to do some kind of exercise you dislike in the pursuit of your goals, remember that there is a difference between dislike and total aversion. The former is worth battling, the latter is a waste of your time.
Get fit for "nothing"

gym equipments
If you have stairs in your workplace, or live in a high-rise apartment, learn to take the stairs rather than buy a stepper to do the exact same thing. When Gauri Grover, 32, wanted to lose her post-baby weight in a hurry- but didn't have the space or budget for buying equipment - she adopted an age-old practice: sweeping and swabbing the floors of her home for a few months. 'It worked wonders. I lost 20kg in less than a year. Cost? Zero!'

The lesson here? 'Doing simple crunches or push ups on the floor is as effective as buying ab-exercisers or leg presses,'
says fitness expert Kiran. 'In fact, they are better, because you are simply working with your body's natural resistance, not external equipment,' adds Gauri. Use online search engines
You can access the best brand names and average pricing for the equipment you want. Read reviews - www.amazon.com is a treat place to start because there are customer reviews that accompany each product. Make a note of the model/manufacturer names that generate positive feedback.
Warns Sawhney: 'Don't go for local or Chinese made versions, but do not assume fancier brands are better either. A personal trainer can provide you brand names to choose from.'

What you can aim for...
A single piece of equipment from this list or a combination of these machines is what you need for most basic fitness goals.
Dumbbells and barbells

useful gym equipments
Dumbbells help build resistance, and are used for strength-training. They come in a range of weights; ideally, though, buy adjustable dumbbells, which change the weight/resistance levels at the push of a button.What to look for
In regular weights: a comfortable grip.
In adjustable weights: how high the weights go and what increment of weight you want.
Stability ball/balance ball
It is essentially a large ball (usually 18 to 28 inches in diameter) made of polyvinyl and can be used for a range of exercises - from abs to stretches, and in place of a conventional "bench" for weight training.
What to look for
Burst resistance; right size for yourheight; air pump.
Floor/yoga mat
For floor and stretch exercises, so you can exercise anywhere.
What to look for
The right size for you; anti-skid or anti-slip material.
Indoor bike
Great for a cardio workout and for toning your legs and thighs.
What to look for
A comfortable seat; smooth pedal movement; well-angled handlebars. If you have a lower-back issue, look for a "recumbent" bike whose angle will be more comfortable for you.
Stepper/step bench
It looks like a long low stool and is used for step aerobics. Can really get your body moving.
What to look for
A sturdy build; slip-proof material; adjustable height and adequate width of top surface.
Elliptical trainer
It is a top pick for cardio exercise and fat loss and the second most popular machine at most gymnasiums after the treadmill. It combines the effects of stair-climbing with a skiing motion, and gives you a full-body workout. A great calorie-burner.
What to look for
Good grip; stability, so the machine doesn't wobble; stride length that's suitable for your height. If many people of varying heights are going to use it, pick one with an adjustable stride.
Most treadmills are electric and have fancy extras; the more basic "manual" treadmills are inexpensive and are designed to move by your walking action. These are also effective but you lose variation in your walking routine.
What to look for
Basic readouts of heart-rate, speed, calories; good quality tread; good grip on the armrest.

The world of fitness equipment is almost limitless but you now know enough to hold your own with pushy salespeople. So go on, invest in your family's health with confidence!

Is the price right?

get wise about fitness
Reputed sporting goods stores are safe bets, but there are various other routes to get a bargain:
1. Ask the gym/trainer - They can guide you to wholesale dealers where you will get a good deal.
2. Go online - Ebay and craigslist (an online "classifieds" site) have India sites where you can find people who want to sell used equipment, including those based in your own city. Do check equipment personally before buying.
3. Visit gyms - They might be upgrading and disposing quality equipment, and you may get a good bargain.
What to ask the salesman?
  • Is it safe for you to use the equipment alone?
  • Does it have a warranty?
  • Is there a machine that combines the basic activity with something else?
  • What sort of maintenance does it require?
  • How long will it last?
  • What should you watch out for when using it?
Keep these "Don'ts" in mind…
  • Don't invest in expensive exercise videos. You can download them from www.youtube.com
  • Don't zero in on fancy accessories such as headbands, trackpants, shoes and the like. You need comfortable, basic clothing.
  • Don't buy equipment that does more than you need. Treadmills with TV screens, ipod docks and book stands may sound impressive, but may be unnecessary.
  • Don't buy from the biggest, best known store. Get your information from them, but shop around.