This afternoon, while I was drinking a glass of iced water at the gym, one of the cleaners sat down at the nearby settee and watched me. A few seconds later, she asked one of the misconceived questions to exist.
‘You look lean, girl, then why are you working out?’
I smiled to myself at this common confusion existing in nearly everyone’s minds these days, and turned to give her a concise answer that is elaborated with this post. In response, she blankly stared at me and nodded.
This stereotyped speculation is one of the main reasons that stop a lot of people from thinking of exercise. Laziness and ignorance is another locked gate but that’s another story. Let’s see what’s up with this question posed by the lady at the gym.
If a person is lean or thin, why do they need to do exercise?
What is exercise, really? Why does it need to be done? What can be gained out of doing it? While I can give you several answers to those, Google Dictionary gives one very simplified definition for the first query: activity requiring physical effort, carried out to sustain or improve health and fitness.
The last word of the answer is fitness, not thinness.
The size of a person’s body is based on their physiological skeletal frame. Two people never have the exact bone density or composition and those factors determine the basic form. You really can’t reduce the size of your skeleton by sweating yourself, as it is fixed by the mitosis and meiosis in our mothers’ wombs. It is the fault of the adipose tissue alone from external sources to wreck havoc. Adipose tissue is nothing but a theoretical term for fat.
White, squishy, disgusting globs.
I deduced the description from chicken fat, since I’m quite allergic to watching the surgical videos my Dad watches every night before a very important surgery to be done the next day. But I may have caught some glimpses and to be honest, the white squishy thing outside the muscles resembled chicken fat spot on. Those things are the exact culprits to ruin the beauty of a body.
Now you may be wondering – Then we shouldn’t take fat in our diet at all?
Before going into the actual reason for exercise, it’s crucial for everyone to know that cutting out fat completely from your diet is the biggest mistake you can make. I thankfully don’t have personal experiences of anorexia and stupid diets, thanks to the wise Queen who gave birth to me and is the pillar of my life, but I have seen girls viewing fat-containing-food like the plague. Whether they work out or not, they put at least a ten foot distance from themselves and oil, ghee and cheese. Basically, their principle of cutting off those abdominal fat, cellulite and saddlebags is starving themselves.
To be straightforward, that is very silly, girls. Very, very silly. The science of reducing fat is, ironically, to take it. Good fat destroys the bad fat. I don’t have much knowledge about guys going for crash diets, but if you are, stop that insanity right this minute. Earlier I mentioned about how oil, ghee and cheese are looked upon as threats but those three exist as bad and good fat. In science, they are called LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) and HDL (High Density Lipoprotein).
The latter, HDL, is your best friend.
The more you take HDL, the more reduced risk of heart diseases. HDL lays abundant in fish, nuts (almonds, raisins, walnuts, cashews), oatmeal (porridge), whole fruits (Meaning: Not the fruit juice drinks), all shades of capsicum, eggs, garlic, onions, dark chocolate, yoghurt. These sources of friendly cholesterol increase the radiance of your skin, if that is one magnet to attract you towards healthy eating 😉 But that’s not all they do. They supply immunity to every single system of your body, and don’t you need immunity and health to get you to do the job you’re currently working for successfully?
Only if you eat too much of fried food, does oil become the bad guy. Only if you eat too much of sweets, does ghee become the bad guy. Only if you indulge too much in pizzas, does cheese become the bad guy.
Mr Heart, the most active muscle of your body, will bless you immensely when you subject your body to exercise. At a party, people will be at the peak of happiness as they dance and rock on the DJ floor. Similarly, Mr Heart’s party lies in working out. As he begins to excitedly dance in your chest, he encourages his loyal assistant, the Pulse, to break a leg and he joyfully races through the body and collect all those toxic extras to the adipose tissue and kick them out through sweat. And that’s why you exercise.
To get rid of the bad fat.
To get rid of the dangers bad fat poses.
To get rid of laziness the stuffed bad fat induces you with.
Exercise is not about becoming thin. Exercise is about becoming fit. Fit, so that you feel so good about yourself. Fit, so that you’re capable of doing anything. Fit, so that you’re immune to depression. Fit, so that you entertain healthy thoughts and a rational mind. Fit, so that you will love yourself and your body even more.
Bad fat goes against those objectives and once they’re shooed away, your form takes a definite shape from the haphazard earlier one. That’s why the myth of exercising-to-become-thin exists. People don’t realise it’s the LDL alone to melt and finally show the wonderful, smooth shape of the muscles below. Exercise gives you back your basic body, liberating it from the weight of unwelcomed globs. It doesn’t reduce anything.
Fitness is essential to maintain a healthy life, one where you don’t have to depend on anyone else for assistance.
So what kind of exercises can you do to gain that?
Once you get through with this simple activity, you’re more than ready for the other advanced cardios. Cardio means any form of motion for a consistent period of time to get your heart pumping faster, and walking is definitely one of them. Brisk walking for at least half an hour can definitely decrease a fair amount of calories.
But a much effective form of walk is the 8.
This curved walking has been proved more intense than a normal, straight walk and while you may feel it’s doing nothing for a couple of months, you’ll actually see a sudden decrease around your waist after that. Go in one direction for the first fifteen or thirty minutes and then go in the other for the next, so that your knees are saved from pain from your body leaning in the same direction for a prolonged period of time.
There’s a balance between the people who love open spaces with fresh air to go for a jog and people who prefer the treadmill under a fan or an air conditioned room. Belonging to the latter, I’d say the treadmill can encourage you to keep track of yourself properly. The calorie calculation, the span of time, plus there’s an advantage of elevating the treadmill to your capacity so that you look like you’re jogging up a hill.
What could be more fun than dancing, huh?
With the music system blaring your favourite songs, you can dance to the beat as you follow your instructor’s movements on the screen, may it be the television or computer or laptop. I strongly recommend the ever talented, gorgeous Rosemary Conley for a trainer.
Nearly seventy years of age, she has been professionally trained and has trained several millions of people to get their body back. Her aerobic DVDs are like treasure.
Rosemary Conley is the prime inspiration for my mother and me.
The Cross Trainer:
This darling here is one of the best you can ever get. A combination of the effects of mountain biking, climbing a staircase and running, this beautiful machine protects your knees from potential harm and lubricates it effectively by the smooth, calculated motions. The cross trainer targets your body from shoulder to toe, tightening the muscles, and is far more intense than the treadmill. When you’re running or jogging, it takes fifteen minutes to sweat. But it only takes five on the elliptical (another name for the cross trainer) and is a place to escape from all your troubles. Personally, I prefer the cross trainer to anything else.
This is another excellent, body-friendly cardio, may be equal to the elliptical. Launching your body through the water tightens and tones the muscles without you even knowing it, I’d daresay. Because once you get in the water, you don’t feel your body weight at all, and hence, you can project yourself from one end to the other with ease.
In assistance to swimming, there’s this other amazing activity that goes with it. It’s called Aqua Aerobics.
In a pool, you do this series of exercises in the water. The huge difference between normal aerobics and aqua aerobics is that you can actually feel the amount of energy used in the former, but in the latter, even if you do it up to an hour, you’ll have no sensation of power required. It’s invisible and at the same time, very effective. These water exercises have another astonishing quality – curing you of joint pain.
To give a very good example, we took a vacation at this resort in Kerala last October, where there was a swimming pool right in front of our area of rooms. My grandmother joined us in the water too and another grandmother of mine instructed her to hold the rails for support, lift her body up slightly, and move her legs in a cycle fashion for fifteen minutes straight. Gran complied, enjoying it while she chatted with my other Gran.
And the next day when she climbed into the car for the drive back home, she felt no difficulty whatsoever in doing the deed. She usually feels an uncomfortable pressure while mounting the step, but for a solid three days, the simple fifteen minute underwater cycling gave her immense relief.
These five forms of cardio are the most favoured for exercising.
You’re probably thinking, ‘This is really nice to read, but the thought of exercising is tiring.’
We’ve all been there, people. Getting up is the key to unlock the barrier gate. A lot of people hate the very word ‘exercise’. But there are people who really want to but say, ‘I’m just lazy.’ Okay, that is acceptable to some extent but that kind of thought shouldn’t persist. Get up. Right now.
And then there’s the most famous excuse of all.
‘I don’t have time.’
Then what do you have time for?
If you can’t spare time to take care of yourself, just what exactly do you have time for?
A whole lot of thinking for the success of your job can flow through your brain while on the cross trainer just as effectively as it does in the shower. Or you don’t really need to think either. It’s a kind of meditation too. Concentrating on the blaring music and enjoying it is an amazing meditation. This is why I love workouts. Not only do I have quite a pleasant amount of inspirations for my books, I also am at my happiest while sweating out the toxins. Bad thoughts, worries and stress either get driven away or at put to temporary rest. The former has more of a success rate than the latter, I proudly say it out loud.
There’s this other barrier to stop people desiring to do exercises. The fact they either think gyms charge a lot of money or purchasing a commercial machine will be costly.
Here’s another thought.
The risks or diseases resulting from lack of exercise will cause us to pay a huge cheque at the hospital to cure or treat them. When you’re ready to do that, why aren’t you ready to pay for the very thing that’ll prevent that? Something to think about.
It’s not that you need to cut out all junk food or your favourite treats on a permanent basis. Let’s face it, the good is balanced by the bad alone. We can’t live without it. I’ve so much affinity for fast food, endless supply of chicken, Italian, Chinese, ice-cream, pudding and black forest cake. I can’t imagine my world without binge eating on them at least once in a month. But in the end, it all comes down to constant and regular workout to burn off that excess fat. All it comes down to is whatever works out for you and knowing how to balance your diet to please your digestive system as well as the rest of your body.
Eat happily. Workout happily. Live healthily.
And always stay blessed and safe.
Lots of love,
My sources of inspiration to enjoy exercise: Rosemary Conley, Taylor Swift and Varun Dhawan. Who are your inspirations to workouts, guys? 🙂