Losing weight, getting leaner and toned, or just getting faster is something most of us aspire for. We’re all charged, sign up for a fancy gym memberships and are raring to go! But in reality, for a newbie, the concept of starting a workout regime is just plain terrifying! There’s the zillion questions! Where do I start? Is this exercise better for me or that? Is exercise safe for me? Cardio or weights??
When you're a #WorkoutVirgin, it is essential to get the right answers to all your fitness-related questions. The lack of right advice can cause injuries and failed goals. Not anymore! We got the Nike+ Training Club elevated trainer Urmi Kothari to answer some of the common fitness-related questions most beginners have and in the process she’s inspiring us to start working out too…
I'm a complete beginner when it comes to working out. I'm probably never going to go to the gym, and I can just about talk myself into 15-20 minutes of activity, every alternate day. If I am looking at overall toning (not weight loss, so much), what's the best kind of workout I should be trying? No equipment, please!
One great thing about exercise is that you don’t need a gym to move! Since you are a beginner, a really fun and safe way to work out anywhere is through the NTC App. I recommend picking GET TONED workouts at a Beginner level in the NTC app. The app has several 15-20 min workouts that don’t require any equipment – you’ll be spoilt for choice :) The app also has images, videos and oral cues from Nike Master Trainers and athletes to help you get the best exercise form and keep you motivated to push yourself more!
What is the best workout to lose fat?
In the NTC app, choose GET LEAN workouts in the GOALS section. Remember - work out right, eat right and sleep right; and no fat will be left!
I want to burn thigh fat fast, which of these would you recommend and why: jogging, walking or running.
While it is nice to do specific workouts, it is always better to have a balanced workout regime which is a mix of cardio, resistance and relaxation. Think of it like meals, which should have a balanced mix of carbs, protein and fats. Jogging/running will definitely help you lose fat overall and a little bit of resistance training will build some strength, which will convert all the fat to muscle and will help you to keep that fat off in the long run.
You can start with bodyweight exercises and then use free weights as you get stronger in about 4 weeks. Building strength will also save you from any knee/ankle injuries and keep you more on the road and less on the chair! Working on your core muscles will help you strengthen your glutes (read a great looking butt as well) and will chisel your legs into shape.
Combine workouts from the NTC and Nike+ Running app to get a running centric workout.
What exactly is 'working on your core'? Is it not for beginners?
Working on your core means activating all the muscles responsible for a good posture while working out or not! These include your abs, butt, spine (back) and your shoulder. Remember when your mom would ask you to stand straight and you did just that by standing with your chest out? Well, that is NOT the right way. Working on your core will teach you how to lengthen and stretch your spine and strengthen those abs.
The NTC App has many 15 minute core workouts in the GET FOCUSED section which is a great place to start. Building strength will also save you from any knee/ankle injuries.
Can you lose weight by just doing cardio? Or it has to be balanced with weights?
Yes, you can lose weight by doing cardio but too much of it can make u lose muscle mass as well which will reduce your metabolism in the long run. Thirty minutes of cardio, 4 to 5 times a week, is a great start. You can take it to 45 minutes if you exercise regularly. Alternately, if you do interval training, you can work on both weights and cardio together.
The NTC app has many cardio workouts which last for 15 minutes in the GET FOCUSED section. But if your goal is to lose weight, I would suggest choose a workout under the GET LEAN section of a duration that suits you.
What can I eat before a workout and how long before? And what’s a good post-workout snack?
You should wait for at least 2 hours after a meal or 1 hour after a snack of slow-burning carbs (like oats/ muesli/peanut butter with apples).
The best post workout snack is generally a good combination of healthy carbohydrates and protein and some healthy fats like nuts/seeds or olive oil depending on your type of meal. If you are working out early in the morning, a fruit or a few almonds with one or two dates or figs is a good snack.
Is it true that going to the gym will never help you lose weight unless you also start eating right?
You can never out-exercise a bad diet. So lace up your shoes girl, and shut that cookie jar :)
Urmi has been an athlete since she was 13 years old and loves engaging in activities that challenge her physically and mentally. Before she became a trainer, she was a fitness and sports enthusiast. After her MBA, she wanted to do something that would help her discover more about herself. She took a calculated risk, quit her job and professionally pursued training and dance. This helped her realize how much she loves teaching people and seeing them progress.
Urmi’s fitness mantra is “Getting fitter by moving the body as a unit”. She likes bodyweight exercises, outdoor fun in the sun, parks, beach, swim etc. She believes fitness should energize you and make you discover yourself and your capabilities.
Urmi’s favourite workouts are the Advanced Yoga Workout and the Adrenaline HIT (high intensity training) workouts from the NTC app. Her gym bag almost always consists of the latest compression gear from Nike - the Nike Pro Engineered Giraffe training tights. It also has the Nike Flyknit Zoom Agility trainers without which Urmi doesn't do any high-impact bodyweight moves. Her red Nike sipper keeps her hydrated.
For more easy tips to get in shape, follow Urmi on Instagram here
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* This is a sponsored post for Nike. Download the Nike+ Training Club app and get working out NOW – no excuses! With training programmes for the newbie, the expert and the fitness fanatic, the app is available for download on iOS and Android devices.