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Friday, August 20, 2010

How to go from FAT to FIT

In today's ever increasing sedentary lifestyle compounded with high intake of junk food and soft drinks the battle against fat is common for all. Many work out for hours to maintain themselves others try all sort of diets and finally just give up. Is it so hard to loose weight? How should we go about shifting from FAT to FIT without harming our body in any way? How to train? How to select a trainer?

Loosing or gaining weight is very simple. When our intake of food is more than our workout or daily activity we gain weight where as when our workout or daily activity is more than our food intake then we tend to loose weight. It is so simple yet most people and trainers with half baked knowledge complicate things. When I say less intake of food I don't and never do recommend going on any sort of diets that put certain foods or food groups out of your menu for weeks or months. Never do this as subconsciously the body starts craving for those foods and the day you feel happy with the weight loss and stop the diet unknowingly we start eating more of the food groups we had stopped ending up putting on more weight than we had lost. The simple and right approach is eat everything in moderation and even binge on any food that is your weakness eg - pastries, chocolates, fried foods etc but binge only say once or maximum twice a week. Workout daily for an hour, initially if you are just starting to workout you can train 4- 5 days a week so the body recoups but after a period of say a month one can easily train daily. However this will vary from person to person as everybody doesn't have the same fitness levels.

I often see trainers setting up routines for their clients and for a month or more and they follow that routine. Well sadly this is a wrong approach, the system of setting routines was started mainly for weight lifters and body builders so they have a system of working out the different muscles on different days to give time to recoup and avoid injuries due to excessive training. It is also common for trainers to make one diet reducing his work by almost 60%. The right approach to having your training routine specially if one is training to either loose weight or just maintain themselves or get fitter and leaner would be to make your workout filled with as much change and variation as you possibly can. When we train in a set routine initially you will get results but once the body gets used to it then you will reach a plateau and at times even start getting bulkier. When our workout is filled with change and variation the body is always challenged the muscles are always facing a new kind of exercise so the results are 100% faster and better than a set routine. Moreover an ever changing workout even kills the monotony of doing the same thing again and again. Just imagine going to gym daily climbing on to the treadmill then the cross trainer then doing some weights some floor exercises daily could get very boring after sometime. On the other hand imagine the excitement you would have when you don't know what your trainer is going to make you do today or tomorrow. Moreover never do some exercise or routine because it worked for someone else, every body is different with different fitness levels, endurance levels and so on. So what may work for someone need not work for you. In my opinion Martial Arts is the only kind of routine which can be generalized and get results for anyone irrespective of age, gender, fitness levels and so on.

In today's day and age with a gym or fitness studio in every corner it is very important to select a proper trainer. The human body is well designed but misuse or wrong workout routine may not cause injuries immediately but a few years down the line could surface in the form of arthritis or spondylitis and so on. So choose your trainer wisely. With the sudden emphasis and awakening towards health and fitness there has been a huge demand for trainers. Most of the trainers are either just body builders or have theoretical knowledge about their specific fitness routine. This is not enough as it is someones body and health that a trainer is dealing with.A trainer must always be in perfect physical condition. Sadly today most trainers from any specific fitness routine or martial arts or at times even sport are not able to jog a small distance of say 10km at a stretch or do 300 squats or 300 push ups and walk straight the next day.  In my opinion an ideal trainer is one who himself is very passionate and committed towards health and fitness, one who has personally sweat and trained and trains even today in a number of fitness routines (aerobics,weight training, sports training, martial arts, yoga, cardio - kick boxing etc), a person who has personally done all the workout he makes you do, a person who makes you understand the reason behind a workout and it makes sense to you, a person who is always cautioning you on the right method of performing an exercise and explaining the injuries if done otherwise.

Well I can go on and on about fitness but to bring an end to this post of the battle with flab I would like to say sweat, sweat, sweat and sweat wisely under a qualified and realistic trainer. Eat in moderation don't diet and there is no and never can ever be a short cut or an easier way than working out to loose weight or getting lean.        

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