Exercise a misunderstood concept: Bollywood fitness expert

Last Updated 29 March 2014, 07:40 IST

Exercise is a science, believes celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar - the woman behind svelte actress Kareena Kapoor's once most-discussed "size-zero" figure - whose latest book shatters myths around exercise and educates readers on this "misunderstood" subject.

"Exercise is a science; so it's not about getting up and going for a walk. It's about understanding what goes behind movement, and the energy system involved," Diwekar told IANS in an e-mail interview.

"The book attempts to address and project exercise as what it really is, a non-negotiable aspect of life. Exercise keeps not just your body in shape but also your involuntary organs like heart and lungs; is good for the nerves and brains; and good for hormones," she added.

The petite and fit frame of the Mumbai-based fitness trainer compliments her philosophy of "eating light and exercising right". In her third book "Don't Lose Out, Work Out" (Westland, Rs. 250), she has focussed on the importance of exercise in everyday life and how it shouldn't be considered as a "tool" for weight loss.

"The clientele is more keen on losing weight than gaining health or fitness," she said.
"Exercise is a misunderstood concept, we don't look at it as something we ought to do as a matter of discipline or health, but something one gets forced or punished to do because of being fat, poor knees, cholesterol, or heart issues," she said.

Diwekar first came to limelight when Kareena confidently wore a lime-green bikini in "Tashan", flaunting her thin waist and toned thighs. The 33-year-old actress had always struggled to get rid of her "adorably plump" body, but under Diwekar's guidance, she had lost weight by following a healthy diet and making exercise a part of her life.

The author of two books on fitness - "Don't Lose Your Mind, Lose Your Weight" (Random House) and "Women and the Weight Loss Tamasha" (Westland) - strongly feels even though a lot of information is disseminated on the internet related to "fitness", people are still ignorant and casual about it.

"We still have a large number of trainers or dietitians who count their worth based on how many kilos their clients have lost...gym softboards always have the 'biggest loser' for inspiration," she said.

"So it's the inherent thrill of a short-term reward, coupled with ignorance that makes us casual about exercise," she added.

Unlike her previous books where she has championed the cause of "eating well" and not "losing sleep over weight", the author's latest offering elaborates on the science behind exercise and breaks stereotypical myths like "spot-weight reduction".

"It isn't uncommon for us to make statements like 'let me lose some weight quickly first'. What we are saying is that we are fine with the harm that quick, extreme weight loss will bring because we care more about our weight than health," she said.

"This book urges people to stay away from cliches and stereotypes and adapt a lifestyle where exercise is a routine of life and not a burden."

(Published 29 March 2014, 07:40 IST)

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