Sunday, May 27, 2012

Home workout for Fat Loss

Joining a gym is of no use.
Shocked? What is of use, is , Joining the gym and going there regularly... to Workout.

Sure, if you've never joined a gym before you must give it a shot. Science has proved that Resistance training (Challenging the muscles) is highly beneficial to our bodies to keep ourselves fit and healthy throughout our lives. ( However, the gym is not the only place where one can perform Resistance Traning).

So, following is the classification of the kind of people in this world w.r.t their Fitness Habits.
  1.  Those who have been to the gym
    • Those who like hitting the gym regularly
    • Those who don't like going to the gym  
      • Those who are aware of the importance of resistance training but detest going to the gym
      • Those who are not even bothered
  2. Those who have never been to a gym
    • Those who will never go to the gym
    • Those who will go to the gym and be one of the people classified under Point 1.
This post is for those people who understand the importance of Resistance training , but don't go to the gym for any of the following reasons:  
  • Don't have the "Right Shoes" to wear while gymming 
  • Don't have the right "Gym Bag" to go gymming
  • Don't have the "Right clothes" to wear to the gym
  • Don't have the "Perfect Sipper" to sip water from while gymming
  • Don't like the music at the gym
  • Are too lazy to go to the gym
  • Want to workout at home only
  • Want to start with working out at home first and then join a gym 
So here's a great workout routine that you can perform at home and get good results whilst doing it: 

Exercise: Duration: 20-30 Mins
Muscles Targeted: Full Body Major Muscles Workout
Number of Exercises: 4

Exercise1: Squats .
While going down, try to not let your knees go beyond your toes . This places undue stress on your knees.

Exercise 2: Calf Raises

You can start with calf raises without any dumbbells. As you progress you can carry weight.

Exercise 3:

These are classic pushups. If you cant do regular pushups, start with Knee supported pushups and work your way up to Classic regular pushups

Classic Regular Pushups
Knee Supported Pushups

Exercise 4: Planks
This is one of the most effective exercises for strengthening your core. This exercise beats other exercises for your abs,  like crunches, reverse crunches , side crunches, side bends and 100 other "Lower Abs" and " Upper Abs " exercises. Just hold your body in this plank position. It isn't as easy as it looks.

How much and How many: 

You can start with whatever you are comfortable doing. Just remember to challenge your body and work your way up at least every 2-3 workouts . i.e. add a repetition or a set every 2-3 workouts.

Perform this routine Thrice a week ( Monday Wed Fri/ Tue Thurs Sat).

  1. Squats: 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions ( Start with whatever you are comfortable doing. This can even be 3 sets of 2 repetitions)
  2. Calf Raises: 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions. ( Start with whatever you are conformable doing) 
  3. Pushups:  3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions ( Start with whatever you are comfortable doing. This can even be 2 repetitions of Knee supported push ups.)
  4. Planks: 2 sets of as long a duration as you can hold your body in the Plank Position. You can begin with as low as 5-10 seconds and go up to as much as 1,2,3 minutes.
Once you have reached a stage where you can do 3 sets of 12 repetitions of these exercises comfortably, progress further by adding weights to your routine or by increasing the number of sets performed.

There! Now you can't tell me , " I don't know what to do at home".  I'm not saying this is the Best Workout for every one. Infact there cannot be a Best Workout for every one as each body is unique and responds to everything differently.

However, This is a point where you can begin.

All The Best.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Demystifying Mangoes

There's a lot I've heard from many, about how mangoes are good/bad for you, and how by eating a mango one can attract Evil Spirits or communicate with Angels. Hence I hereby Demystify Mango , today!

Yes! The season of mangoes is here when  Mango sellers
roam around empty streets  on hot afternoons,

I remember as a kid, at night while I was asleep,  I dreamt of having a Mango Milkshake the next morning along with my breakfast. Not only that , I also dreamt of swimming in a big pool full of Mango Milkshake till I drank all of it! I'm sure you've dreamt this dream to.. if not.. well.. you weren't too imaginative. It's never too late. I still get the dream sometimes, in summers.

And not matter what Katrina Kaif tells you or does whilst being dressed skimpily with a bottle and some yellow colored fluid filled with sugar preservatives and essence , nothing can match the taste of a yummy REAL Mango!

Interestingly the name Mango has its roots in the Tamil word Mangai or Mankay. When the Portuguese traders set shop in India, they decide to use the name Manga .


So let me tell you, why you should eat Mangoes and not feel guilty about it.

  1. Mango is rich in Prebiotic Fiber, which works on the digestive system and is beneficial to our health
  2. Mango pulp contains Phytochemicals which may be beneficial in reducing the risk of Cancer & Stroke.
  3. According to new research, Mangoes are effective in Preventing and even Stopping growth of Cancer Cells 
    • They fight leukemia, lung and prostate cancers to a certain extent, but work best in fighting  common breast and colon cancers.
  4. Mango is an excellent source of Vitamin A.Just 100 gms of the mad fruit gives you 25% of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin A. And we've studied and forgotten the following benefits of Vitamin A: 
    • Good Vision
    • Good Immunity
    • Healthy Bones & Teeth
    • Healthy Reproductive system
    • Antioxidant properties
  5. Mango is a great source of Potassium. And we've studied and forgotten the following benefits of Potassium
    • Regulating Blood Pressure
    • Healthy Brain Function
    • Probable role in prevention of Kidney Stones
  6. Mango Peels have antioxidant properties which can help in fighting a long list of what can go wrong inside our bodies ( More on Antioxidants here)
  7. Mangoes are a great source of Vitamin C , which again acts as an antioxidant and improves immunity

Now , another thing.. We all have been doing this since our childhood. We keep the mangoes immersed in water for an amount of time that each of our Mothers feel appropriate, ranging from an hour to 12 hours.

I haven't found any scientific evidence outlining the benefits of this exercise, but my sense is , keep doing it. Let the heat, if any, that might harm us,  present inside the mango , Out. Why take a chance. So go ahead and enjoy the King of Fruits this summer and many more yet to come.

And, while eating Aaam Ras + Puri, go easy on the Puris. 



Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Marathon Runner vs Sprinter (Part 2) - Train like a Sprinter for Fat Loss

So, as I concluded in my last Post "Marathon Runner vs Sprinter"  , here's how you can Train Like a Sprinter.
Also, another advantage of training like a Sprinter is  that You will start looking like one too!!

This happens due to the Principle of Adaptation.

Keeping the jargon aside and to put it simply, this Principle says that , The body adapts / reacts to Loads / activity that it is subjected to, by making itself more capable of handling the same activity the next time.

This adaption takes place during sleep/rest/when we provide our bodies proper nutrition and take care of it.

( Hence the fact that Muscles do not actually grow in the gym... they grow when they heal and become stronger when you rest & recover from the work out by giving your body the right nutrition. )

Coming back to the point. Ya, so, to look like a sprinter, you must train like one.
A sprinter, runs hard and gives it his/her all for 30 sec/ 60 sec/ 2 mins/3 mins. So to make the body stronger and capable of doing this, you must train in a similar manner.

Hence, I introduce you to "High Intensity Interval Training" ( H I I T):


  1.  You burn more calories. Higher the intensiy of the exercise, more calories will be burnt.
  2. You burn calories even after you finish working out . Regular low intensity training only burns calories while you are for eg. walking. Once you stop, the calorie burning stops, where as HIIT also results in burning calories after you workout
  3. Your Metabolism will shoot through the roof, which will result in better results of Fat loss and calorie Burning off the field
  4. You Heart becomes stronger. HIIT challenges your heart much more than regular cardio and actually makes your heart stronger. As your heart adapts, it will result in a lower Resting Heart rate, which means it will work more efficiently i.e. it will PUMP MORE VOLUME OF BLOOD in One Beat !!
  5. YOU SAVE TIME!!! Regular cardio takes 45-60 minutes. I know people who walk for 1.5 -2 hours !! But HIIT Takes only 20 Minutes!!  
  6. You don't need any additional equipment
  7. You wont get Bored!
There are two ways in which you can do your cardio workout:
  1. Low Intensity Long Duration ( For e.g.: Walkingfor 45 -60 mins)
  2. High Istensity Short Duration ( For e.g.  HIIT using any form of cardio) 
One can perform this type of training with his/her current form of cardio. IT can be Cycling, Swimming , Walking, Elliptical Trainer etc.). 

What is HIIT?
It is very simple. You can perform HIIT by alternating small bursts of high intensity training with some time of  lower intensity training in between those bursts.

Here's a Sample HIIT 18 minute Training schedule: 
Let's take Walking for example: 

  • Minutes 1 to 4 : Walk.. gradually Brisk walk.
  • Next 30 sec: Run/ Sprint as hard as you can.. Run for your life .. Run like hell ( As we've heard from Pink Floyd) .. Run like a deer who runs for his life from a Lion/ Tiger.. Run like a thug running away from the police..Ok.. I think you got the picture
  • 4min 30 sec to 8 min 30 sec: Walk/ Jog/ Brisk walk ( Whatever you your comfortable with.. your choice )   
  • Next 30 sec:  Run/ Sprint as hard as you can.. Run for your life ... you knw what i'm talking about
  • 9 min to 13 min:  Walk/ Jog/ Brisk walk ( Whatever you your comfortable with.. your choice ) 
  • 13 min 30 sec to 14 minutes:  Run/ Sprint as hard as you can.. Run for your life 
  • 14 mins to 18 minutes: Cool down.. Brisk walk/ walk..
And it's over! .. Don't be deceived by the " only 30 seconds " of giving it all... Try it for yourself. It isn't very easy to give your 100%  to running for 30 seconds. Also, make sure that the intense bursts are long and hard enough to make you feel huffed and puffed after the 30 seconds.. else you aren't doing it right...

Here's a sentence test : " I ran so fast that I cant speak this sentence in one breath" If you can speak this sentence in one breath, may be you didn't sprint hard enough.

You can apply HIIT to any form of cardio like cycling /swimming/ walking / rowing etc.
As you progress on this path, you can increase the duration of the high intensity bouts or the number of high intensity bouts etc. over time , you will be able to gauge your body well and know what it can , and cannot handle. 

Do this thrice a week and see the fat melting away from your body whilst shooting up your metabolism and increasing your energy levels throughout the day!!

All the Best.

Also remember , Interval training is not appropriate for all. If you have a chronic health condition, heart condition, or other exercise specific injuries or if you haven't been exercising regularly, consult your doctor before trying any type of interval training.