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Jumble gym

health-and-fitness Updated: Mar 15, 2010 00:56 IST

Hindustan Times
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There are several fitness or weight loss-related queries from readers that make their way to our inbox time and again. Evidently, a large number of people seem to have similar doubts or common problems related to fitness goals and exercise routines. These range from concerns about working out during pregnancy to worrying about whether or not you need whey protein, or exercises that can help with spot weight reductions.

HT City bunched these recurring questions together and asked sports specialist Nikhil Mogre to answer them for you.

What exercises will help me lose weight on the thighs (or other specific spot like midsection, hips, etc)?
A lot of us aren’t happy with the way we look and think our arms are too flabby or that we have too much fat on the thighs. This also makes the idea of spot fat reduction seem very attractive. “Spot reduction is a myth. No one can reduce or change the shape of a specific body part except by cosmetic surgery. Diet and exercise can help you reduce the overall fat percentage in your body and achieve required results,” says Mogre.

What exercises can I do to increase my height?
Your genes and bone structure determine your height. “You cannot stretch your bones to increase height. Also, it’s not possible to increase height after you hit puberty. But with regular exercise, you can improve your posture, which can make you look taller and boost confidence,” says Mogre.

Is it okay to exercise when I am pregnant?
If you have a normal pregnancy and your doctor gives you the go ahead to exercise, there shouldn’t be a problem. “With medical advice, it is possible to workout during pregnancy, although you may not be allowed to do all kinds of exercises. Moves that put pressure on the stomach, like bending down or abdominal crunches, are usually not recommended,” says Mogre.

Do I need whey protein and does it have side effects?
Protein is the body’s building block and is necessary for muscle building as well as repair. Your body needs one gram of protein per kilogram of body weight just to maintain all your muscles. “Less dietary protein causes muscles to break down and you start losing strength. Though natural protein is available in meat, eggs, milk, paneer, fish and beans, you will have to consume these in large quantities if you work out intensively. Hence, whey protein is the best supplement as it provides 20 to 25 gm of protein per serving. It also has no side effects,” says Mogre.

I have no time for exercise. Can you suggest a diet plan accordingly?
There’s absolutely no compromise on this one and no excuses are good enough. “If we have time to sleep, work, eat and travel, then we should also be able to set aside 30 to 45 minutes everyday for exercise. There can be no diet and exercise plan if someone has no time to work out. At least, do some brisk walking, cycling, swimming or take some time out for a sport like tennis, badminton, table tennis or anything else that you like. Spread your meals over 5-6 installments through the day,” says Mogre.