Towards an effective Workout

Where there is a will there's a way. And when there is a way there are obstacles too. Workouts are no exception to this. People wish to lose weight, they begin exercising, and then they have to deal with body pain, fatigue, and no immediate results. No matter how impossible it may appear on the face of it, we are only a few steps away from a re-energized resolve. So if you are someone who wants to throw all the procrastination and deterrence  out of the window; and continue exercising at all costs, here are a few guidelines to help you achieve your end:- 

Always begin with a clear goal in your mind. Determine, as to how much you would like to lose. While it is good to have an exact number in your mind, an approximate weight- range is even better. Also, as most of us are aware, a person's body weight should be according to their height. So, instead of arbitrarily choosing an over-ambitious target, it will be better to go by your BMI (Body Mass Index) reading.

Choose a long term deadline, which also keeps you motivated. It could be an event (like your nth birthday, or someone's wedding) or, a future date or, a timespan- of at least 2 to 3 years. In the long term, this will boost your initiative as your mind will be fooled into believing that you only have to exercise till the end of this deadline. By the time you reach this deadline, regular workouts will have already become a habit. And who knows you might even be loving it!

 Fix a time in your everyday schedule. Exercise everyday for a fixed period of time. 15 to 30 minutes for the starters, and as your body permits, increase the duration consistently. 

Customise your workout and don't join the gym right away. You may eventually join the gym but it is better to prepare before you do so. By preparing I mean that your body should be flexible and free enough to be able to sustain gym workouts. For the beginners it is best that you customise your workout. I began with some of my school PT exercises. So, choose for yourself which ones you would like to do first.There are a lot of YouTube videos with a host of different workouts so you can choose from there. Selecting a few low intensity Ramdev Baba's workout is not a bad idea either.

But here you should know your limits and your capacity.  (It is best if you can consult a fitness professional or trainer). Always begin with warmups, followed by skipping or jogging. And end your workout with stretching exercises: Hamstring stretch, few postures of the Surya Namaskara. Remember that a good workout will make you feel sweat, even if you do not necessarily see it.

Choose one workout where you challenge yourself. Sometimes easy workouts done continuously for 15- 20 seconds would suffice. For example, jumping jacks, butt kicks.

Focus on your breathing. Breathing well during workouts makes sure that every muscle of your body gets sufficient oxygen. This ensures that you don't get cramps. Along with breathing you should take rest in between sets. Another better way is to keep marching. Besides, it is absolutely necessary to do the exercise correctly. Notice and imbibe the minute details. If your body doesn't permit a particular set, it is better to skip rather than push yourself towards troubles. Keep yourself hydrated throughout the session. But then do not drink too much of water, only a few small sips at once.

• Now, it is good to exercise regularly. But, "Regular" need not mean daily. You should fix one or two days per week when you don't exercise. This will give your muscles enough rest so that you continue with the same vigour. On cheat days you can go for a casual walk. 

 Also so it is better that you do not check on your weight too often. Doing so will only make you feel more anxious and frustrated. It is counterproductive. Fix one day, either at the start or the end of a month, when you see your weight. Even if the results are not what you expected, you should know that weight loss will happen only gradually. You cannot force it. So there is no need to be disheartened. You can boost yourself by changing your diet, for the good. (Consult a professional dietitian)

If proper dieting is not feasible, try to reduce the intake of empty calories and added sugar. Even small reductions count (like consuming 1.5 teaspoon of sugar instead of 2). Just be consistent. After all, you would definitely not want all your effort going into waste, just for the sake of taste! 

Take sufficient sleep- at least 7 to 8 hours. It is very important for you to feel fresh and energetic for workouts. Besides, cutting on your minimum daily requirement of sleep does more harm to your overall well being; and exercising is no exception.

Don't exercise on an empty stomach.  You can have some healthy carbohydrates (dry fruits, or bananas) at least 30 minutes before you workout. This is more essential if you are doing extensive exercises. It keeps you energetic throughout.

Maintain good hygiene. This includes how you maintain your workout outfit, as well as your body cleanliness before and after exercise. It is best if you wash your outfit everyday; if not, then at least twice or thrice a week. As for the body, it is a very tempting idea to take showers post workout. But it is a less known fact that bathing before workouts is even better, as the body emits clean sweat during exercising. On the other hand not taking a shower at all, is a bad idea because that will lead to bacteria building upon your body. You may get rashes, itching and even infections.

It is advisable that you include meditation in your routine. With growing awareness regarding mental health it becomes essential to do that bit. Especially now, during lockdown when people have to deal with anxiety, uncertainty and even isolation. A Balance of exercising and yoga will definitely  have better outcomes. And finally, master your comfort zone first,and then purchase the bar.

Appreciate yourself for the initiative.

Workouts can be a lot of fun, when you change your perception of it. Instead of taking it as a "work" that you must "do", take it as a self care session. When you continue, it gives you a great sense of purpose and a lot of enjoyment. Besides, workouts can be excellent stress busters! Most of us are preparing for the "new normal", but then, it is a great opportunity to work on oneself. And workouts are a great means in this regard. The guidelines mentioned above only make it easier and more effective. For all your determination and sweat, the results are going to be worth it. So, Love yourself and all the best.


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