Most of us give up on our fitness routine at the thought of doing it daily, day after day. While the benefits are many, there’s nothing wrong with taking a few equally effective baby steps that can help fitness goals. If Dr. Sudhir Kumar, Neurologist, Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad is to pass, you should not lose heart if you cannot run a marathon or cycle for 100 km. “If you can’t afford the gym for an hour every day, you shouldn’t give up strength training. Physical activity to stay fit doesn’t have to be time consuming or expensive. A healthy diet does not always mean expensive exotic foods,” said Dr Kumar.
He also highlighted some of the effective ones physical activity tips which require less time and are lighter on the pockets.
1. Brisk Walking: Benefits start with 2,500 steps per day or 15 minutes of walking per day. So if you don’t have time, try to walk briskly for at least 15 minutes. Also, try to walk whenever possible during the day (at work or at home).
2. Climbing stairs: Climbing stairs (just 50 steps a day) improves cardio-respiratory fitness and is good for health. So, whenever possible, take stairs and avoid using escalators or elevators.
3. Running: Running just 2 km 1-2 days a week is associated with better heart and brain health. So, lace up your shoes and go for short runs when the weather permits.
4. Minimize sitting time: Sitting for a long time is associated with numerous health hazards. I am trying to interrupt your sitting every 30-45 minutes (and take or take short walks of 1-2 minutes).
5. Strength Training: This can be done at home, and the gym is optional (for people who cannot afford a gym or where there is no gym nearby). Use your own weights, resistance bands, or dumbbells to do strength training. Push-ups, planks, squats and wall sits are some of the simple but very effective exercises, said Dr Kumar.
1. Stop sugary drinks (soft drinks), packaged fruit juices and sweets; avoid adding sugar to tea or coffee,
2. Reduce carbohydrate intake and increasing protein intake
3. Minimize hyper-processed packaged foods,
4. Follow time-limited eating by delaying breakfast and eating dinner early,
5. Avoid alcohol.
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Additionally, in an office environment, ergonomic exercises are essential to prevent strain and injury. “Simple practices such as taking short walking breaks, adjusting your chair and desk to maintain proper posture, and performing desk stretches can reduce the risks associated with prolonged sitting,” said Prof (Dr) Ali Irani, Head of Physiotherapy and Sports Medicine, Nanavati Max Super Specialty Hospital, Mumbai.
Although marathons and gym sessions are beneficial, they are not the only route to fitness. “If performed consistently and with proper technique, even simple exercises can lead to better results. Remember, the goal is to stay active regardless of the setting or intensity of the workout,” said Dr. Irani.
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First published on: 17-11-2023 at 09:45 IST