Living a robotic life that has us chasing our careers in pursuit of making money is what we seemed to be trapped into these days. "Exercising is just boring” is the excuse that tops the list. We would rather cut down our calorie intake, deprive ourselves of our favorite puddings or eliminate the carbs completely. We all know that this leads to unhealthy results and in worst cases depression, too. Fortunately, we do not have to restrict our fitness programs to monotonous gym workouts anymore. Don't believe us? We introduce you to 10 fit women who share details of their favorite workouts that keep the fun element alive. These exercises are quite different from the regular ones and are gaining popularity due the liveliness they add to your fitness regime.
Tia Sparkles - Hula Hooping
Hula Hoop is one of the simplest exercises that involves a lot of fun and refreshes your mood the moment you begin it. With just 10 minutes of hula hooping you will burn 100 calories (approximately) a day. Beginners can try this for 5 minutes or so and can later increase the time by adding some variation to it.
A certified life coach, blogger and community leader at yourlifeyourway.net, Tia Sparkles (that’s what she is popularly known as), inspires people to live the life they want, not the life they “should”. This fitness lover is proud to have climbed up to the Mt Everest Base Camp at 17,600 feet. “Normally one thinks of hula hoop as a toy for kids. But using it for exercising gives it a different way to use it, and trust me there is so much of fun in it," she says. She is planning to include this again in her fitness regime as she believes in changing the workouts as she enjoys variety.
Number Of Days/Hours Of Practice: 8-10 minutes of hula hoop during a few times a week while watching your favorite program would do wonders to your waistline.
Any Special Training Required: No special training is required. YouTube videos and a hoop are good enough to start with. The trick is know how you move your hips. Women are natural at this, so dont hold back .
Benefits: A full body workout but a magical exercise to get away with those rigid bulges around your waist, abs and butt.
Neyha Hundal - Yogalates
Yogalates can be enjoyable as it is a fusion of Yoga and Pilates that combines yoga poses and stretches with the movement and pace of Pilates. This exercise has gained a lot of popularity abroad unlike in India where it is still new. “It made working out fun, added resistance to further strengthen the core and was better matched to my level of fitness”, says Neyha.
Born, brought up and wedded to the Olive Greens, adventure and fitness are part of her genetic makeup. Neyha Hundal, who has been doing yoga from the age of 10, discovered Yogalates post her pregnancy ( 2 years ago ). With a baby around, she had to figure out an effective solution to learn this new form of exercise. Thanks to the technology-friendly world we are living in, it just took a few minutes of watching YouTube videos that she managed to learn this amazing form of exercise without stepping out of her house.
Number Of Days/Hours Of Practice: I practice every day except Thursday and Sunday. My dad insists that I give rest to the muscles and tissues after every three days.
Any Special Training Required: For beginners one must practice this form of exercise under proper guidance and instructions to understand the correct postures and benefits of the exercise.
Where Can You Learn: If you know basic Yoga then YouTube videos would be a great help. Else, if you are in Mumbai then you can try Oris Dance & Fitness in Prabhadevi, Ave 29 studio in Chowpatty, Soulfood in Juhu.
Results It Promises: Highly recommend for losing post pregnancy weight as this workout targets every body that need strengthening. Improves toning, flexibility and stamina and creates an awareness about breathing effectively.
Neeti Dixit - Kathak
Exercise can never be boring when dance is involved. One such dance form is Kathak, which is a strenuous physical workout. The ankle bells (ghunghroos) worn by the dancers compensate the weight bearing exercises and abhinaya, which is an integral part of Kathak helps in the coordination of each and every part of the body, including facial muscles. Thus, reducing wrinkles and increasing endorphins.
An alumni of IIM and founder of Reneemagic and Hunar of India (social organization), Neeti Dixit is a fiction blogger and a visiting faculty at SRCC (Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi). She is a trained Kathak dancer and picked up this dance form at the age of 10. Neeti, who is 46 now, says, "I feel very energetic, happy, composed, confident and spiritually connected after each Kathak session.” Due to her personal commitments she had taken a break for 10 years, but now she has started learning again from one of the renowned dancers, Padmshri Guru Urmila Nagar.
Number Of Days/Hours Of Practice: She practices Kathak for 5 days a week for an hour or more.
Any Special Training Required: Yes, one needs to learn this dance form from a trained Kathak Guru (teacher).
Benefits: Improves strength and flexibility, reduces stress and helps in weight loss. Additionally, helps in building confidence and regulates blood pressure/cholesterol levels.
Tanna Sachar - Aerial Yoga
Aerial Yoga is an amalgamation of Yoga, Dance, Pilates and Acrobatics and is done with the help of a soft fabric hammock. It works with gravity and helps to relax and realign the body, center the mind and uplift the spirit. It is a great way to rejuvenate, and boosts your energy as the experience of flying, dancing and exercising above the floor is incredible.
From being a basketball player (in school) to loving Yoga, Tanna Sachar has always been an active sports person. This fashion lover worked in the corporate world for 8 years and never stopped working out. Mom of a 5-year-old, she is a business woman now and yet manages her time to practice Ariel or Antigravity yoga and Zumba. She says, “Both of these are fun to do and keeps me high on energy & fitness. Moreover I believe, a fit & healthy body is the best fashion statement.”
Number Of Days/Hours Of Practice: Ariel yoga three times a week (preferably alternate days), one hour each.
Any Special Training Required: This needs to be performed under proper guidance and instructions as you need guidance to maintain the correct posture.
Benefits: A complete body workout and a real stress buster. Not recommended for pregnant women.
Vartika Sharma Lekhak - Biking/Cycling
Biking/cycling is an easy way to stay fit. It needs very less investment apart from buying a cycle, and is an amazing way to burn that extra fat. Cycling in a pollution free environment brings you so close to the nature that no matter what age you are, you feel terrific. In many countries, people use it for their daily transport besides using it for fitness, which is sadly not the case in India. Of course people are getting aware of its health benefits but it probably will take some more time to accept it wholeheartedly. However, there are some who are on the path of cycling their way to fitness.
Like most of the army wives, Vartika Sharma Lekhak is a multi-tasker and is passionate about fitness. She loves trekking, camping, backpacking and biking (that includes both cycling and motor biking). From being a teacher to being part of an editorial team (depending on the place they are posted) and now a freelance writer/blogger, she has done it all. She keeps travelling to different parts of India along with her army man in their respective cycles and motorbike (as a pillion).
Number Of Days/Hours Of Practice: Out of 7 days a week, 3 days I keep for cycling and next 3 days I run for an hour.My 7th day is to take rest and to enjoy with my friends or for partying.
Any Special Training Required: Nothing except that one should know how to ride a cycle.
Benefits: Helps to get stronger legs and works on your waistline, abs and thighs.
Nupur Nigam Hazela - Pilates
In addition to the regular cardio workouts, Pilates can work on you body like magic. This can be very interesting to practice as it has a variety of movements and stretches involved. Quite popular amongst the Bollywood celebs including Deepika Padukone, Katrina Kaif, Jacqueline Fernandes, Sonam Kapoor, Alia Bhatt and many more, this exercise form has been adapted by many fitness lovers in India now. This exercise also demands precision and breathing effectively for better results.
An engineer by qualification and a freelancer by profession, Nupur Nigam Hazela used to practice Pilates prior to her pregnancy. She says, “This requires core strength and you have to learn to control your body.” She has been blessed with a baby recently, so she has not been practicing it now but surely has plans to join her classes as soon as her baby is a little grown up.
Number Of Days/Hours Of Practice: 45-60 minutes of Pilates can really be effective but 30 minutes are sufficient to make you sweat and feel good.
Any Special Training Required: Not really. You would either have to enroll in a gym with a good instructor or watch YouTube video and practice.
Benefits: Helps in strengthening your back, abs and legs. Makes your muscles stronger, improves flexibility and tones your body.
Kavita Rawat Mukherjee - Bharatnatyam
Any Indian classical dance form is an excellent choice to add to your daily fitness regime as it not only helps in weight loss but adds happiness to your life. Bharatnatyam is one such dance that demands a lot of dedication and practice but if done regularly and correctly (more importantly), it is no less than Yoga. This amazing form of exercise can be vigorous at times but certainly works like a complete package.
Kavita Rawat Mukherjee, who has done her English Honors from Delhi University, firmly believes that a woman must stay fit to keep her home up and running. This Army wife had a career in hospitality industry and now is a homemaker and loves to dance, paint and run. She says, “Any classical dance form is much more difficult than the workout we do at gym and thus helps in keeping your body fit and makes you stronger internally and externally."
Number Of Days/Hours Of Practice: I attend classes for 3 days a week but I practice every day as I have recently started learning (since the last 4 months) it is a great dance form to learn and helps in relieving stress.
Any Special Training Required: Yes, one needs to learn this dance form from a trained Bharathtyam Guru (teacher). In my case, I learn it at my home from a trained teacher.
Benefits: Helps in strengthening the muscles, improves the flexibility and stamina, gives a glowing skin, improves balance and concentration and indeed controls the weight.
Sahiba Singh - Trekking
If you are a nature lover then Trekking can act like a therapy that refreshes your mind. It challenges your body and mind at the same time with a bonus to try something different than usual. Walking on the mountains and exploring the beauty of nature can be adventurous.
Sahiba Singh likes to try new things in life and mixes several forms of exercises in her fitness plans as she easily gets bored with the same fitness routine. She attends a regular gym, loves doing yoga, cycling and swimming at times. Along with that she simply adores trekking. So far she has done 4-5 Himalayan treks with a gap of 2-3 months between each. She confesses, “I do a lot of high intensity workout to increase lung capacity, undergo cardio training and include high protein diet to prepare myself before I go trekking.”
Any Special Training Required: One needs to be physically fit before any trekking so a lot of cardio exercise certainly helps. During trekking, a good pair of shoes and a good guide is all that you need.
Benefits: A complete body workout as it increases the capacity of your lungs, improves eye, hand and feet coordination, improves bone density and balance, helps to control weight, reduces sugar level and blood pressure, and most importantly it charges your mind.
Sanjana - TRX workout
TRX is a workout that is for every fitness freak who is tired of lifting weights and crave for something new and interesting. Often considered as a 'gym in your bag'. This workout only needs a TRX suspension that can be tied anywhere to start the workout. A mother of 2 teenage boys and a teacher by profession, Sanjana has tried almost all forms of exercise such as Yoga, Kickboxing, Pilates and is willing to learn more.
She says, “Breakfast is the most essential part of our daily meal and I blindly ignored this for half my life”. Realising the importance of fitness and its health benefits, she has adapted a healthy lifestyle by adding lots of protein by including dal, sprouts, soya bean and cottage cheese in her diet (being a vegetarian). She found TRX workout very effective as it not only helped her increase her core strength but she lost around 2 kgs in a matter of 15 days.
Number Of Days/Hours Of Practice: 45 minutes of proper TRX training promises wonderful results. Other than TRX, this fitness enthusiast follows a combination of exercises that includes 3 days of cardio, 2 days of floor and weight training, alternate days of yoga during morning hours and 2 hours of evening walk.
Any Special Training Required: YouTube videos can be helpful but it surely has more impact if learnt by a certified trainer in a gym.
Beneficial For: A complete body workout, it increases strength, flexibility, stamina, balance and coordination. Also helps burning calories.
Whether you had a terrible day at office or fed up with the taunts of your mother-in-law, take out that frustration while doing this exercise. So, you get to relieve stress and you get a gorgeous body to flaunt. Not a bad deal at all. Remember! The harder you punch or kick, the better your body responds and undoubtedly the better you feel.
Usually practiced as a self-defense activity, Kickboxing is an easy way to kick away the unwanted fat from your body. It can burn around 500 calories in an hour (depending on the intensity). Kickboxing is one of my favorite workouts as I have personally experienced its benefits. 15 minutes of Kickboxing in my regular gym along with some other strength training exercises, helped me shed almost 15 kg of weight just in 3 months.
Number Of Days/Hours Of Practice: 40 kicks in one set (using both the legs) and repeat this 4 times. 30 punches at squat position using both the hands for 2-3 times.
Any Special Training Required: A good instructor can help or YouTube videos can be a great start.
Beneficial For: This exercise can help reduce fat around the arms, shoulders, abs, thighs and butt.
You can also try rock climbing, different forms of martial arts, rowing, salsa dance or skating and add them to your fitness regime to kill the boredom, keep the spirit high and at the same time to stay fit.
We also spoke to some super busy moms who share with us how they manage to stay fit.
If you're in Bangalore and are looking for interesting ways of working out, then click here for a list of alternative places to workout in Bangalore.
For all those times when you do not want to spend too much time in the kitchen, these easy and healthy recipes will come handy.
Which of these workouts do you follow? Let us know, in the comments below!