The Fitness Routine That Works:

Before you trash this article as “just another fad”, I suggest you take 30 seconds out ofyour “oh-so-busy” schedule just to standup, with your feet together, and try to touch your toes without bending your knees! If you manage to do that – “BY ALL MEANS DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER”. But just in case, you couldn’t reach out and suddenly realized how far your toes were fitted, in your body, from your hands, I suggest you add some 15 more minutes to the previous 0.5 and continue to read (for your own good).

I wish to share with you my fitness routine, which is definitely not a “one-size-fits-all”
approach to physical fitness, but is customisable, to suit your specific needs. As far as my
background with excercise goes, I have been actively working out since 1992 (thats about 15 years now) and over this period have experimented with several forms of workouts, primarily concentrating on strength training and weight lifting. With each stage of my life, I have had to re-invent my workout to suit my needs. And In between I have seen serveral low points also. For example, there have been several occasions, where due to various commitments, I fell out of schedule with my workouts. There have been several instances where I have been out of excercise for close to a month, effectively becoming totally out of shape and out of stamina and energy. Inspite of that, I consider myself reasonably fit today. And that is because, the secret is not in being able to workout ‘every single day without fail’ BUT, getting back in to the routine as quickly as possible, after a period of inactivity. And that, I am particularly good at. Currently I work as a professional in the burgeoning IT industry in India, and have a sedentery work life. So, theoratically, I have to sit at a desk and stare at a computer screen for about 40 hours a week. And usually, the stuff available in the name of “snacks” has no worthwhile benefit, other than filling you up. I suppose most of my readers would fall in that same bracket! So this, combined with a lack of physical activity, leads to fatigue, constant lack of energy, obesity
and all the accompanying medical nightmares of blood preasure, diabeties and so on. Before I share my workout, let me help blast a few excuses and myths. Do let me know how
many of them you’ve heard before!

1. I have never worked out in the past..So why now? It would be impossible to start!
This is just as far from the truth as is the himalayas from sri-lanka :-). Any day is the right day to start. But if you are past 30, then it is wise to have a quick consultation with your friendly neighbourhood Doc, so that you know what level of intensity is good for you.

2. I’ll start tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, next…….
It only means “I WILL NEVER!”. Get out of that mode if you care, even a little, about your
own wellbeing.

3. Weight training is only for wrestlers and body builders.
Hey weight training does not necessarily mean doing a 150kg Bench Press!!!! Lifting a 4 kg
Dumbbell also falls under weight training. Basically when you workout with weights, you are working against a resistance. This inturn provides enhanced strength.

4. Workout is too complicated! Too many technical stuff to remember! It’s good only for professionals and atheletes.
I’d only say, checkout my workout. It is a very *realworld* plan which atleast will put you
on the path to fitness, based on which you can gradually move over to more strenuous excercies
regimens if you so please.

5. I dont have the time!
Show me someone who has 25 hours in a day. Get organized buddy!!!

Ok, I guess I’ll stop there and share my workout right away! I workout for about 5-6 days a week (Usually it is the sundays when I do not excercise) and it includes a combination of brisk walking (how many times have you heard that?), some stretching, and a little strength training using moderate weights (ok, the weights part is optional, but recommended). Now here’s what I do:

+ Go for a 30-35 minute brisk walk in the mornings 3 times a week, usually on alternate days. It includes some basic stretching excersices like bending down and touching my toes (variation:- can be done with feet together as well as feet spread apart); hamstring (back side of thighs) stretches. The definition of brisk (for most people) is that you should be able to walk at a speed, where you are reasonably fast but also are able to talk (if required!). I usually dont talk so I tend to walk a shade faster than that.

+ The other days I workout indoors, where I do some basic stretching, accompanied by about 35-50 crunches (abdominal) and basic strength training using a pair of dumbbells (those who dont have a pair of dumbbels can incorporate extra stretching routines for the first couple of weeks and then eventually graduate to free squats and floor push ups (advanced)).

And that’s just about it. It takes about 40 minutes each day, to do the above, and I notice that given my current lifestyle, it is quite enough to keep me fit and ready to take on each day with full vigour. It also keeps all my essentials (i.e. BP/Blood Sugar, etc) under control.

Some practical pointers:

1. Drink water when you are *not* thirsty. I say so because, most of us are fortunate to have centrally air conditioned offices and the air conditioning has a quality of masking thirst. I.e. It
does not make you ‘feel’ thirsty, in the traditional sense. But at the same time it is very dry and
it de-hydrates you. So It is a good idea to drink a glass of water atleast every 45 minutes. That
way you would clock 8-9 glass in your working hours (which is decent). For some, it may increase the trips to the rest-room, but that has an advantage too… get to walk around.

2. Lookup from work; lookaround the hall (take a look at who is using the printer or maybe who just got up from his/her chair) every 30 minutes. The basic idea is to look away from the screen, so that the eyes get some rest.

3. Take a walk. If it is impossible to make you get up from your seat make point 1 a habit (keep a glass that will not last you more than 30 minutes) so that you have to get up atleast every hour for a refill.

4. Limit your coffee to 2 per day. But lapses once in a while are perfectly ok. 🙂

5. Just do it! (I know I know it is not original and all that…but then it conveys the idea).

Hope the sedentery ones make the supreme effort of changing over into active mode and benefit from this…

I’d love it, if you would share your experience with me by posting your comments on this post

(click on “comments” at the bottom of the post).

Cheers! & God Bless You.

Note: It is a good idea to check with your doctor before you start any fitness program.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Anonymous says:

    Oh Man, You are my darling when it comes to putting things across, in fact i am jealous of your xactitude in describing things, and speaking about the subject of fitness ….O’boy you are a darn reflection of mine…Keep it going Anand 🙂
    – Siva

  2. cj says:

    Hi Anna.. people like us knows the importance of exercise… stay fit should be the primary logo for people who have not thought about exercising… if people want to live longer and stronger then there is no way out than “Exercise”

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