Sep 09, 2015
Each day of life brings along new challenges and demands along with it. Most mornings the alarm clock has barely gone off and I, an anesthetist by profession, am already fussing over the day's to-do list. Combining the demands of an all-consuming job with the challenges of being a young mother of a very active 5 year old child and the things that come with that — a house, juggling budgets, and more — can seem overwhelming and stressful. So, I let this fuel my morning workout after which, I don't even remember what I was stressing about.
Unfortunately stress doesn't just mess with your head; it actually messes with your waistline in similar fashion, as it does with rest of the body. When you're faced with a stressful scenario, your body increases production of the hormone cortisol, part of what experts call the fight-or-flight response. If the stress-inducing situation disappears, your body returns to normal. If it remains? Well, that's the problem.
As a physician and currently a fitness consultant, I believe in empowering people to become their healthiest, happiest, most authentic selves, and supporting a balanced, deeply satisfying way of life.
Exercising for 40 minutes daily for at least 5 days a week is the single most important thing you can do for your health. In the short term, exercise helps to improve tissue oxygenation, boost mood, detox the body of unwanted toxins and improve sleep. In the long term, it reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, dementia, depression, and many cancers.
Trust me when I say, the biggest perk for those who stick with a fitness program is that consistency is rewarded and is immensely satisfying. Since, it not only improves the way you look but also boosts self-confidence and feeling of positivity in life because, when you indulge in moderate exercise body releases endorphins which give feeling of euphoria.
These days there is lots of stress on nutrition and balanced diet also there is a growing concern on easy availability of highly unfit packaged ready to eat kind of eatables.
Kids and adults of modern days are heavily dependent on these toxic options and our biggest fear is that art of healthy eating is fast eloping. The results of such transformation are getting evident as well in the form of escalation in incidences of early onset heart diseases and ageing, pre-teens/teens obesity in general, obesity in general population, osteoarthritis, dementia and cancers.
Fitness and nutrition naturally go hand-in-hand, but most important is the source of information and its application. I have seen that information on health and healthy living is many times collected from any source without checking their authenticity and intent. Health in our country is sometimes treated like a worthless thing and to save some petty bucks information is sought from unreliable sources. This leads to poor results, dissatisfaction and injuries, even loss of vitality or life sometimes. These sources of information on health usually have an opinion on the latest diet trends, like keto, Paleo, or carb cycling, and how those might fit in with a training regime—many clients even ask for specific food plans that include shopping lists, recipes, and fat/carb/protein breakdowns.
When faced with the question of whether these sources can provide these types of meal plans for a medical condition or on nutrition, the short answer is that it’s NOT advisable. Providing general opinions like “eat more vegetables” is one thing, but creating meal plans or diagnosing a medical condition is another matter entirely, and it veers well into the domain of a Physician rather than that of an unqualified person without any scientific background in this domain. It may even be against the law.
My advice to my clients is “Keep your goal realistic and – importantly – enjoyable”.
Take into consideration your physical abilities before you set your training goals. As they say” Rome was not built over a day”.
Even elite athletes build their fitness gradually, using the '20 per cent rule’; that is, you only increase your workload by a maximum of 20 percent, and only after at least three weeks at the previous level.
With my clients, I plan a diet according to their household diet plan, budget and also preferences. I encourage streamlining of diet which has a healthy mix of all macro and micro nutrients along with a daily detox of entire body so that healthy internal milieu could be achieved and healthy gut leads to healthy mind and body. Once you realize how your diet is helping you feel better and light you look forward to maintaining the same feeling day by day. Weight loss is not easy –so I encourage focusing on diet which can be followed easily for a life time without losing the fun of living along with a, customized strength and fitness building home based workout plan keeping in mind ones’ age , co-morbidities and lifestyle. This way reducing weight gets achievable and maintaining the results also becomes an easy job. Also, once you feel well and strong from within, your confidence level escalates. The balance of streamlined diet and workout which is customized seeing your strengths and weakness gives you that missing control of your body and life.
Part of the secret of success is perfecting the tricky balance of fun with planning – without killing the mood.