Tale of two dumbbells

With the snarl of sixteen-hour schedules pushing fitness to the backseat, Krishnaraj Iyengar finds out how working women...

“It’s a sad life! With just a day to take it easy, gymming is totally out of question. On Sundays, its energy food, television and the bed,” sighs an exasperated 27-year old, who prefers not to be named.

Once a sports enthusiast and fitness freak, she believes that her fat percentage has
increased consistently with her bank balance.

Travelling to the gym, awaiting your turn to use equipment in crowded gyms are atrociously time consuming. And it is mostly this tussle of timings that keeps working women from keeping fit.

But what the young corporates don’t know is that fitness is just a pair of
dumbbells away. All it takes to have an energising workout, maintain overall
fitness and make you feel on top of the world throughout the day, are two
dumbbells.

An ideal way to work out the entire body, two dumbbells can actively
transform you.

“You can use the old-style adjustable dumbbells where you can add or subtract plates as you go along; heavy ones for major muscles like chest, back, shoulders, and lighter ones for minor muscles like forearms and calves,” says fitness trainer Binny Sreedharan.

He explains that with a pair of dumbbells, both isolateral (using both dumbbells together) as well as unilateral (using one dumbbell, individually) are possible.

This provides ample scope for excellent strength training through exercise
routines like circuit training, supersets, or just doing two and three sets for minor and major muscle groups, respectively, with short gaps between sets.

Jyoti Vasant Patade, a young fitness trainer at Talwalkars in Mumbai, believes that a healthy exercise routine involving just two dumbbells, can prevent diseases at a later age, and especially help in preserving post-menopausal bone density and muscle mass.

“It needs barely 20-25 minutes to complete a whole-body workout with two dumbbells.

While a healthy nutrition programme would work as a catalyst, a proper warm-up with spot-jogging or marching, coupled with stretches, before commencing, and a cool-down with yogic exercises like Bhujangaasana and Pawanmuktasana along with Shavaasana to relax the body, are necessary,” she recommends.

On an average, women can lift dumbbells that range from 7-25 pounds. While breathing during workouts is fundamentally important, a slow to moderate pace should be maintained during weight training to avoid injuries and to ensure that each muscle is exercised with adequate intensity.

Exercises must be avoided immediately after a meal. Good sleep, a healthy diet and regularity (5-6 days a week with a day or two of no exercising)  are the three pillars of fitness.

Ask Sheryl D’Souza, a flight attendant with an international airline, who believes that an early morning pump can not only keep you fit and healthy, but also up your productivity at work. 

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