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Eat right to stay fit

Aerobics, power yoga and weight training expert Leena Mogre answers basic queries on fitness and exercise.

health and fitness Updated: Apr 29, 2008 11:53 IST

Q. I am a journalist with odd timings and dietary habits. I am 33 years old, my height is 5’10”, and I weigh 83 kg. I have a bulging waistline (38” and growing). On a typical day I have two cups of tea and some biscuits after waking up. That is followed either by an early lunch of rice/chapati/puri/bread and curry/eggs or whatever I can get my hands on. Then I have two cups of coffee and some chopped fruit at 4 or 5 pm. Dinner (by 9:30 pm) consists of three chapatis, curry, and whatever else the canteen has on its menu (occasional drinks too). I also have constipation and take Isabgol Husk. I had an accident some years ago and had to undergo two operations on my right knee. It has an 85-90 per cent flexion. The over dependence is wearing my left knee. Please advise an exercise regime for me and recommend a diet plan.

- Kannan Venu

A.: Kannan, since you have odd timings, you have to take extra care of your diet. Also , some form of physical activity should be a part of your everyday routine. Instead of having two cups of tea in the morning, start having green tea, which is rich in anti-oxidants and contains epigalocatechins which strengthen your immune system. Try to carry a tiffin to work with you. Some good options would be sprouts or salad; chapati rolls with paneer, chicken or vegetables; brown bread sandwiches; scrambled eggs; and curds/smoothies with fruits. You should include one serving of boiled veggies on an everyday basis in your diet to get rid of constipation. Also, join a fitness centre. Till the time your knee joint doesn’t recover completely you cannot perform any type of strenuous movement. You can work your upper body by doing chest presses, lat pull downs, shoulder presses, dumbell curls and tricep dips. For legs you should warm-up with unilateral (single leg) leg extensions and then perform variations like squats, leg presses and leg curls in a comfortable range of motion.

Q. I am a 30-year-old, 5’8” tall, and my weight is 90 kg. I work out six days a week concentrating on one part of the body each day. I have managed to put on a lot of bulk, but my body is not in the right shape, though my fat percentage is only 20 per cent. Can you please suggest a work out plan and diet regime I can follow. What protein supplement should I go for?
Abhijit Mapuskar

A:. Abhijit, you may not be working out your body uniformly. You have to work each and every part of your body to sculpt it completely. Also, the variations that you perform should be done in a controlled fashion with maximum tension in the largest muscle. You have to do cardio early morning on empty stomach to lose the stubborn fat and only then your muscles will be visible.

An ideal workout plan for you would be:

Day 1: Chest and shoulders
Day 2: Cardio
Day 3: Back
Day 4: Cardio
Day 5: Quads and triceps
Day 6: Hamstrings, calves and biceps
Day 7: Rest

The ideal diet for you would be

Meal 1: A cup of black coffee
Meal 2: Cereals with milk
Meal 3: 4 egg whites and a fruit
Meal 4: 4-5 chapatis with 1 chicken breast and curd
Meal 5: Brown bread with egg white sandwich
Meal 6 (post work out): 20 to 30 gm of whey protein shake with apple or banana
Meal 7: Boiled vegetables and fish or paneer
A good protein supplement for you would be Optimum 100% Whey or Isopure.

Leena Mogre is an aerobics, power yoga and weight training expert. Her panel, comprising Dr Rakesh Nair — sports medicine and injuries, Niranjan Bhardwaj — Yoga (Himalaya Yoga Sadhana), Deboratha Ghosh — supplements and performance-enhancing aids, Mayur Kadam — weight training, will answer your questions.

If you have any questions on fitness and exercise, and want free personalised advice from the experts, please write in to us at