For someone who has had a love-hate relationship with exercises, there is something that I can vouch for with absolute certainty: there is no dodging this bullet! Irrespective of our body type and size, working out is integral for each one of us to keep our overall health in check. That said, we do understand that you might not feel exactly motivated to take the plunge. And that’s exactly why we reached out to celebrity fitness trainer Namrata Purohit to help us with some inspiration as well as insights.
As the youngest certified Pilates trainer and only fully certified Barre Instructor in the country, Namrata knows just what it takes to get someone working out and more importantly, sustain it. Her high-profile clientele including the likes of Kareena Kapoor Khan, Jacqueline Fernandez, and Shraddha Kapoor is proof enough. While Namrata insists that all of us have different bodies and thus need custom workout routines she believes that in the end, it is sustainability that'll get you to your goals. In fact, as a sustainability advocate, she has now launched a new venture called The Earth Circle, a space dedicated to mindful living and a sustainable lifestyle.
In our recent chat, Namrata talked about all the basics that need to be considered before setting up your workout plan and need to make choices that are suitable in the long run.
Finally, planning to start your workout routine but feel absolutely lost atm? Here’s everything that you need to know.
It often happens that people start a new workout routine with great enthusiasm. Go all in, workout rigorously every day, then eventually wear out and quit altogether. In such cases, of course, burnout is inevitable. One week you are barely moving and the other week, you are working it out every single day with sore muscles and a drastically changed routine. Of course, you’d arrive at a stage when all of it starts feeling too inundating.
Well, the secret here is to go easy and go slow and gradually increase the intensity. “You can start with 2-3 times per week and low to medium intensity exercises and slowly build-up,” explains Namrata. Not only will this practice help you adapt better but would also make the entire practice way more sustainable and long-lasting.
While a religious workout routine is integral to your overall fitness, defining how much is too much happens to be equally important. The truth is that you don't have to work out every single day of the week. In fact, not taking any breaks throughout the week is actually counterproductive as it hampers muscle recovery. According to Namrata, “You should try and work out at least 4 times a week for 30-45 minutes.” She adds, “Approximately 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise is recommended weekly. Of course, this also depends on the goal, kind of workout and other factors.” Additionally, the duration of your workout also depends on the kind of workout you are doing.
Ever skipped your workout for a day or two and felt guilty about it? You don't have to because your rest days are as important as the actual workout for it to show results. According to Namrata “at least one day of rest is recommended each week.” While working out, our body breaks down glycogen, which is the glucose from our food that gets stored in our body. This glycogen fuels our workout by giving us the energy to exercise. Taking a break helps you restore these energy reserves. Also, your muscles undergo wear and tear as you work them. This is exactly why you need rest days, as they give your body the time to replenish these energy stores and heal the muscles.
So many of us often make the mistake of focussing on just one kind of workout. For instance running for months at an end or just lifting weights with minimal to no cardio to support it. This again is a flawed practice and stops us from reaching our fitness goals. Thus, as Namrata says, “It is important to work on all aspects of fitness. Therefore, generally speaking a good balance between cardiovascular based exercises and strength-based routines that focuses on all aspects of fitness is important.”
Cardio exercise refers to any rhythmic movement or activity that increases your heart rate. Now, when it comes to the frequency of your workout it is important to factor in the intensity. It is important to keep in mind that a light jog isn’t as intense as skipping and this needs to be factored in while deciding your workout routine. This is because too much cardio also leads to muscle loss along with fat loss, and you don’t want to do that to yourself.
When done correctly, strength training and lifting weights can actually do wonders for your body But it can also cause injuries and harm when we aren’t careful enough. Thus, it is important to pay attention to the following:
-It’s not about how much you lift but how you lift. Focus on your form and make sure that you aren’t exerting pressure on the wrong points.
-It is very important to both warm-up and cool down while strength training.
-Take breaks so that your muscles can recover.
-Keep challenging your muscles by gradually increasing either the weight or resistance.
Ever tried following a diet or workout routine given to your friend by some expert and felt dejected because it hardly worked for you? Well, the problem isn’t that there is a problem with your body but it is because all of us have different bodies. That’s exactly why Namrata insists that there is no one size fits all and “One has to train and customise their workout depending on their body type, timelines, and goals.”
Just like any other fitness instructor, Namrata happens to be a staunch advocate for sustainability. After all, we have been told time and again that fitness is a lifestyle and we get results through consistently following routines and diets that happen to be sustainable. However, for Namrata, the idea of sustainability goes way beyond just one’s own body and fitness. For her, it is a way of life and The Earth Circle is her way of nurturing and spreading the ideology.
She shares, “The Earth Circle is a space where making mindful choices is easy and nurturing the environment becomes second nature. It was born from a desire to live in a more balanced world, a world where there isn’t just a take from the environment but also a given. The community we are building is based on our strong belief that one person can make a difference. If each individual decides to reduce their carbon and plastic footprint, live more sustainably and make conscious purchase decisions, the pressure on our planet will reduce drastically.”
Sharing the reason behind her initiative, Namrata says. “A lot of people have the intention to do better, but sometimes just require direction. Hence the idea of The Earth Circle, to try and give as much information as possible, in a positive way, to guide people, build a community and go on a sustainable journey together.”
Well, as Namrata says, no matter how good we get, the idea is to keep striving for better. Here's hoping that Namrata's tips help you plan a killer workout sesh!
Featured Image Courtesy: Namrata Purohit