Fit n' fab

Our expert answers all your fitness queries

I am a 19-year-old student. I have recently started exercising regularly. I run for an hour in the mornings and do some yoga in the evenings. But how do I figure out how many calories I am burning or how beneficial these exercises are to my body?  — Nikita

Running and yoga is a great combination for a workout. Yoga will definitely help you get better with your running. You are certainly getting fitter by the day. However, the key fitness component missing here is strength training.

With running, you are burning a lot of calories and enhancing cardiovascular endurance. With yoga, you will get a lot of flexibility, mobility and some strength. Try weight training, supervised by trainers. You should be doing some workouts for your abs, butt, thighs, arms, chest and back. Calorie burn can be tracked by wearing a fitness tracking device. 

What is strength training all about? I am a 35-year-old man. Would you recommend it to me? — Arun Jahagirdar

Strength training is recommended to all, men and women. And it’s never too late to begin, so 35 is absolutely fine, you are young. When you exercise, you have to keep in mind the different components of fitness, cardiovascular, muscular, flexibility and mobility.

Cardiovascular training comes from workouts like running, boxing, Zumba, cycling etc.
Muscular training comes from strength and conditioning, yoga, weight lifting, body weight strength training like push-ups, pull-ups etc.
Flexibility and mobility come from yoga and other mobility workouts.
Strength training is needed to maintain a good muscle mass which will prevent injuries and help you age gracefully.

What kind of exercise would you recommend to a woman who is in the third month of her low-risk pregnancy? — Anna

Don’t engage in any physical activity till you complete your first trimester. However, if your doctor has given you a go ahead, please stick to walks, squats (only until quads parallel to the ground), lunges and walking in the swimming pool (extremely good workout). Please do these under supervision.

I am 60 years old and have recently retired from work. I don’t want to become lethargic by sitting at home all day. What kind of exercise would you recommend for me? I don’t want to strain myself either.  — Puroshottam S

You don’t need to strain yourself but you can definitely maintain basic fitness. Start with walks, you can make it slow long walks or short brisk walks for 20 to 30 minutes a day. You could also do Surya namaskars every day, five or 10, or if possible, more.

The key to maintaining your fitness level is to keep moving. Do not sit for long hours, walk around every two hours for five minutes, be active.

(Fitness expert at Curefit, Shwetambari Shetty specialises in Zumba, cross-fit, functional and kettlebell exercises.) 

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