Gear up and get fit at home
Not everyone has the time, the facility or the money to engage in outdoor sports or activities such as walking and running. Many people opt to do indoor exercises such as yoga, abdominal exercises, skipping, on-the-spot jogging, stretching and weight training at home. Sharanya Misra Sharma and Snehal Rebello report.health and fitness Updated: Sep 24, 2011 00:43 IST
Not everyone has the time, the facility or the money to engage in outdoor sports or activities such as walking and running. Many people opt to do indoor exercises such as yoga, abdominal exercises, skipping, on-the-spot jogging, stretching and weight training at home.
But wherever you exercise, it's critical that you use the right accessories, though that does not mean that you have to spend a lot of money.
Vivek Narayanan, 23, who works in an ad agency, has set up a mini weight-training centre in his Vasai home. "I had enrolled myself in a gym near my office, but I was irregular," said Narayanan. "Now I work out four to five times a week."
Narayanan has installed a shoulder bar and chest bar in his room along with weight plates that weigh up to 52 kg. He also has dumbbells. Narayanan bought the equipment for Rs 2,500, a discount offer on ebay, the shopping website.
"Apart from wearing comfortable clothes such as track pants, I also wear gloves when I lift weights," he said. He advises that anyone who lifts heavy weights use a weight-lifting belt to support the back.
Fitness experts suggest that if you do floor exercises and yoga, use mats as they provide good support and give your back a firmer grip.
If you want to do cardio workouts at home, use a stationary cycle. For people with arthritis, this low-intensity workout is an excellent option because the legs don't come into forced contact with the ground.
You can also use household articles to exercise. Two one-litre water bottles can be used to tone the arms, a towel can help stretch, a thickly folded bed sheet can be used as a yoga mat and you can use a wall for push-ups.
"Though accessories and equipment are needed, a lack of it should not be an excuse to not exercise," said Vrinda Mehta who runs Vibrations, a fitness studio at Bandra. "You should not say I won't do yoga without a yoga mat. Just use a bed sheet because what the back needs is cushioning."
"The right clothes and shoes are not just necessary for body fitness, they also help create an ambience and instil discipline for a good workout," said Vishwajit Matkar who runs Recharge Body and Mind at Yari Road.
Sunaina Bhatkar, 27, couldn't agree more. During the first six months of workout, she would hop on to the treadmill in her nightclothes. "I would feel lazy and lethargic even after walking for 40 minutes. But then I read about the importance of wearing the right clothes on the Internet, I started wearing track pants and T-shirt," said the airhostess. "It not just got me into the mood to exercise but also helped me assess my weight loss better."